Alhaji Sani Lulu, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has described the non-payment of civil servants’ salaries in Kogi as disheartening and unfortunate.
Lulu said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, workers’ salaries ought to be given priority by every government.
He said the state government claimed it had paid state civil servants their outstanding salaries, whereas they were being owned 38 months salaries.
“In any responsible system, there is always a budgetary provision in every year’s allocation of funds and a budget cannot be produced without taking into cognisance staff recurrent list.
“This means you must check the staff list, and once it is endorsed, you know that it is your staff strength and must be adhered to,’’ he said.
Lulu, an indigene of Kogi, said that the non-payment of salaries of civil servants was one of the many ills of Gov. Yahaya Bello.
He noted that All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders in Kogi State were already complaining about the governor’s style of governance and had written a petition against him to the party’s national leadership.
According to Lulu, the petition which is quite detailed contained the ills of Bello.
“A highly responsible and organised party as the APC will not go contrary to what the people are already saying, the party is conscious of the feelings of the people,’’ he said.
Lulu said it was regrettable that in spite of the abundant natural resources in Kogi, the state was still very backwards when compared with other states in the country.
He said as a confluence state, most of its leaders had not utilised the strength of the confluence to attract investors, stressing that there were lots of avenues and opportunities to attract investors and tourists to the state.
“The state has lots of tourism potential and I think we should be looking at it from that angle.
“I have worked in the NFF where I used football to improve the health care system and develop the standards of education,’’ Lulu said.
He attributed negative results in governance to lack of transparency and accountability, saying that if government was transparent and accountable, there would never be flaws in the system.
The former NFF boss said every government should plan with the resources at its disposal to impact positively on the lives of the people.
“You can plan with what you have if truly you are sincerely interested in serving the people,’’ he said.
He, however, added that President Muhammadu Buhari remains his role model because of his fight against corruption, which he said was the major problem in the country.
“If I start scoring President Buhari now, he may have some faults, but he is my role model, I don’t know him, but there is nothing he does that I do not hail.
“This is because no leader has served this country as much as Buhari has done, he is working to address our major problem which is corruption.
“Buhari is addressing corruption and they want to distract him to go into other areas, he has clearly invested into security by buying equipment.
“Corruption is, however, fighting back, he has created an enabling environment for the police and the military, he is improving their lives.’’
He added that once the fight against corruption was sorted and won, the country would be on the right footing.
Lulu attributed insecurity in some parts of the country to corruption, adding that all hands must be on deck to ensure peace and development of the country.
He maintained that it was the collective responsibility of all to identify those behind insecurity in some parts of the country that is making life difficult for the people.