NEWS: Why FG is owing Shagari, OBJ, IBB, Gowon, Abdulsalami, Shonekan, Jonathan 10 months salaries, allowances

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ABUJA —THE Presidency revealed yesterday
that in the last 10 months, the federal
government has not paid the salaries and
allowances of all former Presidents in the
country.
They include 91-year-old Alhaji Shehu
Shagari; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Dr
Goodluck Jonathan; former Military
President, General Ibrahim Babangida;
General Abdulsalami Abubakar; General
Yakubu Gowon and Chief Ernest Shonekan.
These was revealed to senators yesterday
when the Senate Committee on Federal
Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs,
led by Senator Tijjani Kaura (APC, Zamfara
North) visited the Secretary to the
Government of the Federation, SGF, Dr David
Babachir Lawal.

Gowon, OBJ, Shagari, IBB, Shonekan,
Abdulsalami, Jonathan and Buhari
By Taboola
Why FG is owing Shagari, OBJ, IBB, Gowon,
Abdulsalami, Shonekan, Jonathan 10
months salaries, allowances
ON November 18, 2016 10:11 AM / IN
News / Comments
*As SGF laments funds paucity, seeks NASS
ontervention in 2017 budget
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA —THE Presidency revealed yesterday
that in the last 10 months, the federal
government has not paid the salaries and
allowances of all former Presidents in the
country.
They include 91-year-old Alhaji Shehu
Shagari; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Dr
Goodluck Jonathan; former Military
President, General Ibrahim Babangida;
General Abdulsalami Abubakar; General
Yakubu Gowon and Chief Ernest Shonekan.
These was revealed to senators yesterday
when the Senate Committee on Federal
Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs,
led by Senator Tijjani Kaura (APC, Zamfara
North) visited the Secretary to the
Government of the Federation, SGF, Dr David
Babachir Lawal.
A source, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, said the non-payment of former
Presidents was due to President
Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to give
approval.
The source also said the payment schedule
had severally been sent for the President’s
approval to assess funds in the service wide
vote for the purpose, adding that all
attempts in that direction were to no avail.
The SGF attributed the non-payment of the
former leaders to the unavailability of funds
in service wide votes for salaries of ex-
Presidents.
He said: “There is a department responsible
for payment of former President. At present,
funds are not available in service wide votes
to do that.
‘’We are aware there was a protest in
Bayelsa State that the former President was
not paid, but we’ve explained that he’s not
the only one affected.
“Others affected are inter-religious council,
traditional rulers council and so on. For
some reasons, we have been writing and
writing, but there has been no response. And
there is currently no money to pay them.
“The budget for this year’s Democracy Day
was N33 million, and we had to do it on
credit, we are yet to pay. There are lots of
retreat which ought to be organised but
there’s no money to do any. The last time
we got any release was in August.”
But reacting to the development, the
senators kicked against the non-payment of
the former Presidents, and insisted that
joint efforts be made between the office of
the SGF and the committee towards finding
a solution to the problem they described as
unfortunate.
The lawmakers, who expressed their dismay
over the development, also emphasized the
need to draw the attention of the Budget
Office and Ministry of Finance to the
development, with a view to addressing the
issue immediately.
Vice chairman of the committee, Senator
Suleiman Hunkuyi, who described the
situation as abnormal, said: “What we have
seen here is an abnormality. Before referring
any matter to the National Assembly, it is a
function of the executive to appropriate
funds.
‘’Therefore, the SGF should understand that
there is something wrong in this office that
must be addressed.
“There is no way you can run the expenses
of this office without cash backing. We
definitely have to draw the attention of the
Budget Office and Ministry of Finance to the
problems.”
Also speaking, Senator Aliyu Wammako,
Sokoto North, who kicked against the non-
payment of former President’s by the office
of the SGF, said: “We can understand if
former president Goodluck Jonathan has not
being paid because he just left office.
‘’But for someone like Shagari, who lives
from hand to mouth is something I can’t
understand. This development is really
unfortunate; It doesn’t indicate seriousness,
and it doesn’t indicate fairness.”
In an attempt to persuade the senators who
expressed outright disappointment at the
development, the SGF explained: “When I got
into this office, there was a lot of money in
this account, but there was no TSA.
“Before the government left office, they
jerked up salaries. We told former
Presidents Jonathan and Obasanjo that they
cannot earn twice what the others were
earning. So we told them we wanted to
review it, and we did. So they now earn
what the others earn as well.
“When I came into office, there was N1.5
billion in the account. We had payment of
all liabilities which came to N700 million.
Then we wrote to the President to return
what was left to the TSA. That was how we
came back to a zero balance.
“It is painful to me because I know all of
them (ex-Presidents) personally. Now, why
have we not been able to get the money?
We requested for a budget of N700m, but
the President has his way of doing things.
“Look around, you’ll see government
vehicles breaking down every now and then.
Really, I know the challenges the Budget
Office is facing, but the truth is the funds
are not just there. In any government, there
are certain agencies that must be served
first before others. So we have agreed on
that. However, we will lean harder on the
finance ministry to see that the situation is
turned around.
Babachir Lawal also urged the National
Assembly to intervene by ensuring it
approves funds proposed by his office in the
2017 budget to be submitted soon, saying
“What is in our budget, we need your help to
defend it. This is part of the change agenda,
so we must learn to sew our cloth according
to the material.”

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