Kogi State Bailout Funds and the Central Bank

Kogi State Bailout Funds and the Central Bank
May 03 21:15 2016

By Oladele John Nihi

[I] appeal to Mr. Godwin
Emefiele, to save us and
 help avert this calamity
that is about to befall Kogi
State by withholding the
release of these bailout
funds till all court cases
challenging the victory of
the sitting governor are
over.
The good people of Kogi State woke up on the
morning of April 28th, 2016 to the news of a
fresh approval of the bailout fund applied for
in September, 2015 by the immediate past
governor of the State, Capt. Idris Wada.

Mr. Asiwaju Asiru Idris, Special Adviser on
Finance, Economy, Commerce and Investment
to Kogi State governor made the announcement
of this fresh approval in Saudi Arabia where
himself and Governor Yahaya Bello were on a
hajj.
Ordinarily, this news calls for celebration,
especially at this time when Kogi State civil
servants are owed four month salaries, local
government staff are being paid in percentages
of their salaries, pensioners are not paid their
pension, projects are being abandoned for
lack of funds, among others, but releasing
bailout funds to Kogi State at such a critical
political period when we are counting down to
the ruling from the electoral tribunal is totally
unacceptable and unwise.
The fact is that such release at this time is
capable of being diverted to shop for justice or
cause possible distraction to justice. A similar
situation led to the withholding of the state’s
bailout funds last year, due to the fear of the
then state governor Capt. Idris Wada diverting
the funds for election.
One would recall that the attempts made by
 Capt. Wada to secure the bailout funds then
were met with strong opposition from the All
Progressives Congress (APC), insinuating a
possible diversion of the funds by the People
Democratic Party (PDP).

The first and major concern of Kogites right
now is the fear of a secret and unholy deal
between Yahaya Bello, Kogi State governor and
Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank governor due to
the working relationship of the apex bank
governor and Mr. Asiwaju Asiru Idris. This is
even more worrisome considering the
revelation of Mr. Emefiele’s role in the recent
secret CBN recruitments that makes people
question his integrity and capacity for following
due process.
Mr. Asiwaju Asiru Idris, who is a Special
Adviser to Kogi State governor and currently on
sabbatical leave as the Zenith Bank Obajana
branch manager, must have used the Zenith
Bank structure to seal a deal with the Central
Bank boss who up to the time of his
appointment was Managing Director of Zenith
Bank.
It is surprising and of great concern hearing
from Mr. Asiru that the said fresh approval was
given via a telephone call from the Central Bank
to the Kogi State governor, whereas the same
CBN has released a statement claiming that
approval had already been given to Capt. Idris
Wada last year before the eventual withholding
of the funds on political grounds.

With all sense of concern, and judging from the
ugly incidences that followed such bailout funds
being released to some states, and which were
diverted into private purses and generally
mismanaged, leaving the state poorer than it
was initially, as a result of the monthly refunds
of the bailout, I would wish to once again appeal  to the
CBN governor to stay action for now.
Otherwise, the Central Bank of Nigeria should
handle the disbursement in its entirety by
setting up a tripartite committee consisting
representatives from Central Bank, Kogi State
government and labour unions in the State to
supervise and make public all details relating to
it disbursement to the last kobo.
Oladele John Nihi, a political scientist writes from
Lokoja and can be reached through
Talk2deleonline@yahoo.co.uk.