Ogun state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Monday said he inherited a state treasury with “almost nothing” upon assumption of office on May 29. Abiodun, who was silent on the amount he met in the state’s account, said he had to borrow money from his friends who are Managing Directors in some commercial banks, in order to pay May salary, which he puts at over N7billion.
He spoke shortly before he went into a closed-door meeting with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at MTR Hall, Ibara Housing in Abeokuta today. The governor, who said he could not describe “in the open the Ogun State that we inherited”, however vowed not to make issues out of his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s actions or inactions.
According to him, we have by far, too many things to do than to begin to be bogged down by what someone did or what he did not do. He said “30th of May was our first day in office. And on the 31st, it dawned on me that it was the end of the month and we need to pay salary. “So, I called the Head of Service. I told him that we must pay salary. But he said to me that “you’re new in government and everybody understands that you just assumed office and we don’t have that expectation of you paying salary now. They (workers) will understand. There is very little or no money. We can talk to them.”
“But I told the HoS ‘either they are expectant or not, it is my promise to the people that salaries will be paid as and when due.’ So, I picked my phone and called my friends who are MDs at different banks. I told them I need to pay salaries and this is the little I have; almost nothing in the state account. I requested for a credit facility to allow me to pay over N7billion which is the state wage bill. That day, my intention was that maybe one or two will oblige me, but the five banks that I called obliged me.
“To the glory of God, we paid salaries that day. Civil servants began to get their alerts that evening. And I began to feel a sense of upliftment and fulfilment. And this was my first task in office, and I managed to accomplish it.” The governor further vowed that his government would not tolerate banditry and another criminal activities, saying he would soon declare amnesty for hoodlums to lay down their arms.