THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Osun State chapter, yesterday said it was ready to assist the Senate in its probe into how bailout collected by Osun State government was utilised.
The PDP, in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Prince Diran Odeyemi, said the state got the highest amount of money as bailout but squandered it on phony contracts.
The party declared that Governor Rauf Aregbesola diverted the bailout, meant to pay workers salaries, to pay some Lagos-based contractors which also included a highly placed official in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The statement reads: “relevant information about the bailout shows that Osun got N38.9 billion which was only second to Kogi’s request. But Kogi, under the reign of PDP governor, Idris Wada, was never given the money.
“Before the figure was arrived at, a Lagos-based consultant, hired for the job by Aregbesola, used a benchmark of N3billion per month as the state’s wage bill. This figure, according to our findings, was overblown but the government claimed it was needed to pay workers’ salaries for over 10 months.
“However, workers were only paid full salaries for just two months after which Governor Aregbesola designed the “half salary” system till date.
“Shortly after the money was released, contractors were settled and they immediately returned to sites, which again has been abandoned. When we raised alarm, Governor Aregbesola called us alarmists.
“We are grateful to the Senate for deeming it fit to look into Osun’s book. We are ready for the probe and the first thing the committee should look into is how Osun State was able to get the bailout without meeting the necessary conditions such as State Executive Council approval, which Aregbesola does not have.
“We also implore the Senate committee to inspect the payment vouchers used by the government in paying the workers from the date of the release of the bailout till the point Aregbesola declared the funds had been exhausted,” the statement said.
The party also advised the panel to be diligent in handling the investigation, adding that relevant information from the banks paying the state workers should be collected.