Mr Ismaila Oyelowo, the Executive Secretary of Kwara Pension board has disclosed that the administration of Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq met N21,516,812.33 as backlog of gratuities owed Local Government Staffs from 2009. He disclosed this on Monday while testifying in front of the Justice Mathew Adewara-led panel of inquiry into the alleged diversion of N300 Million monthly from Local Government account.
Oyelowo alluded that N30 million released monthly for gratuities before May 2019 has now been increased to N100 million monthly to moderately defray parts of the outstanding debts.
In his words ”we approached the new State Government to jerk up money being released for the payment of gratuities and that was expressly granted. Now, on monthly basis, we are receiving N100 million to settle gratuities. But because of Covid-19 pandemic we got N60 million in June. In July, this has been raised again”. He further told the panel that the board was unaware of any deduction of their money.
”We only prepare vouchers for the payment of pension fir the Consultant engaged for its payment while we concentrate on the issue of gratuities. The board does collection of details of new pensioners, upgrades the payroll, and forwards to the consultant for payment,” he said.
Oyelowo further advocated for the adoption of contributory pension scheme as a solution to the crisis.
On his part, the Chairman of the panel of inquiry Justice Mathew Adewara emphasized that the panel is on a fact-finding mission and that no one was put on trial.
“As you are aware, this panel was set up by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and the mandate is to examine all the relevant books, internally generated revenue, federation allocation and how those funds are being used. This panel is to probe and find the veracity of the claim that N300million was being diverted by the Kwara State government from local governments funds. Nobody is on trial. Nobody is being prosecuted. We are only on a fact finding mission. We are to find out the correctness of your books,” he said.162