There are indications that Mr. Yahaya Bello the Kogi state Governor has perfected plans to collect the huge amount of money paid into Local Government account by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), WEST AFRICA REPORTERS (WAR) can authoritatively report.
Insider source in one of the local governments who spoke to WAR via a telephone, said Bello is forcing all Directors of Local Government (DLG) in the state to make the money available to the state.
A move all the DLG have refused.
When Bello discovered that the Directors of Local Government are not willing to hand the money paid to the local councils over to him, he asked them to sign document showing each local government borrowed N3 billion from the state Government.
A deal the DLG have refused to struck with the governor.
This newspaper learned that the money was paid to the local government to pay salaries and execute projects.
While the Igalamela LG is making plans to pay workers 100 percent of their entitlements, Idah LG has opted to paying 70 percent, an arrangement workers in Idah LG have since rejected saying they will either get 100 percent payment or nothing.
Another insider source who gave his first name as Onu, told WAR that the governor summoned all DLG to a meeting at Lokoja the Kogi state capital on Tuesday where he made attempt to get them sign borrowing N3billion from the state government.
He said the plan is that when the DLGs sign, it will show the governor did not collect the money from them, but that they paid the money they are owing the state government, even though such never existed.
A faction of state All Progressives Congress (APC) had last two weeks reconciled and agreed to work with Bello in the forthcoming November 16 Governorship election.
However the faction gave him a condition to pay all outstanding salaries and allowances owed to workers and pensioners in the state.
The faction say that is the only way they can work with Bello.
A condition that has since put Mr. Bello, the governor under pressure to raise monies and pay the bills, which explains why he wants to collect monies paid to Local Government Councils by the Federal Government.
Buhari government had said that
local government financial autonomy must commence June 1st, warning the state governors to get ready for the new plan.
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) handing down the warning, say nothing will stop the autonomy from commencing on June 1st agreed date.
Mr. Ahmed Dikko, (NFIU) media adviser disclosed that their action is from the legitimate powers provided by their Act 2018, a legislation establishing them.
It also disclosed that cash by the local government cannot exceed N500,000 per day when the law starts in June 1st.
“The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) is using this second press statement on the above subject to reiterate its position that the 1st June effective date of the guidelines to all financial institutions and public officials on the local government funds stands,” Mr Dikko said.
WAR could not immediately reach out to Kogi state Governor for official response.