Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha yesterday regretted collecting the N26 billion bailout funds from the federal government.
He said the monthly deductions, which will run for the next twenty years, have drastically affected the allocation of the state.
Stating that the state was in dire financial strait, Okorocha explained after implementation of agreement with Labour, which left the state with 30 percent of the allocation, the salaries and entitlements of senior functionaries were slashed by 35%.
He debunked insinuations that the bailout funds were diverted or misappropriated.
The governor restated that the funds were used for payment of salaries.
According to him: “Before we got the bailout funds, the workers have started shouting about their salaries and we had to borrow money from Zenith bank to pay the salaries.
“So when the fund hit our bank, it was disbursed to several other bank accounts including the Government House Account to pay those that were not captured in the civil service”.
Reacting to the recent invitation of his Principal Secretary, Dr Pascal Obi, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the alleged misappropriation of the bailout fund, Okorocha said there was no big deal about it.
“EFCC is free to investigate any allegation of fraud against anyone but that does not mean that the person in question is guilty.”