The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said no government can survive by bailouts but by sustained economic development.

Obaseki said the protest and accusations from pensioners was ill-conceived and sponsored.
The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. John Mayaki, said: “We cannot be reactive to situations as it concerns the running of government, workers welfare, payment of salaries and emoluments – actions and reactions have to be well-planned and sustainable.

“Pensioners must understand that the system needs to be properly organised at all levels –from federal to state and local government – so as not to continue to depend and survive from bailouts. This is our major concern, which is why the state government is reorganising and overhauling the entire pension system to achieve better and qualitative service delivery. Edo state government cannot commence screening of her pensioners because there is an ongoing screening of pensioners with federal share at Imaguero and New Era Secondary Schools which is expected to end on March 9, 2017.

“Are they accusing Mr. Governor of lodging the Paris Club refund in his personal account or government account? Is the governor entitled to collect interest from monies lodged in government account? Is the money meant exclusively for pensioners or for Edo State of which workers and pensioners are a sub-set? Let me put it on record that the money is not in any fixed deposit account, whatsoever.”

Meanwhile, Obaseki has signed the state’s uniform and harmonised levies, rates, fees and charges collected by local government law 2017 bill into law.

The bill was passed by the House of Assembly on Tuesday.

Obaseki said the law will enable the state and local governments capture and access revenues accruable to them and added that a special schedule would be created where taxes collected by the councils would be announced to ensure transparency in the collection process.

“We want to assure you that what you have assisted us in doing has certainly created a new paradigm and given a new lease of life to our local government. We want to assure that it will be given full effect…”

While waiting for your approval, we have begun to put in place mechanism for the implementation of the law by working with the judiciary to ensure they have the enforcement mechanism,’’ he said.

He said the review of the bill became necessary in pursuant of his New Year Day broadcast to discourage levies and taxes being collected by unauthorised persons in the stat

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