Former Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has refuted claims that his administration sold 110 government properties to friends and cronies.
In a statement issued by his media aide, Dr Muyideen Akorede, in response to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak’s reported claim that his predecessor sold 110 government properties to associates, Alhaji Ahmed disputed the conflicting figures cited by the Governor and absolved his administration of any wrongdoing regarding the sale of government properties.
Alhaji Ahmed said his administration followed due process in selling some government quarters to civil servants, and members of the 7th Kwara State House of Assembly on owner-occupier basis following state Executive Council approval.
The said approval, he said, also covered other properties disposed of by his administration with the proceed paid into government coffers.
The Federal Government’s monetisation policy, he further clarified, which sought to shed the financial burden of maintaining government-owned properties, motivated his administration’s disposal of the affected assets.
Alhaji Ahmed also reiterated his position that contrary to Governor Abdulrazak’s claim of misappropriation, the former administration cancelled a bank loan obtained to counterpart fund Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) 2013 grant when the repayment pressured dwindling federal allocation and therefore threatened pressing government obligations.
Regarding salary payment, Alhaji Ahmed maintained that his administration was up to date in the payment of state civil servants including senior secondary teachers under its remit before it left office. Unfortunately, he said, local government councils owed their workers and primary school teachers subsisting salary arrears on account of unstable federal allocation to that tier of government.
The former governor pointed out that the Abdulrazak Administration’s adoption of the previous administration’s position that salaries and pensions gulped the bulk of Federal allocation to the state and local government councils had vindicated the former administration.
Alhaji Ahmed expressed relief that despite the vicious blackmail his administration was subjected to on account of the said arrears, the current government’s position had exonerated his.