The Governor of State of Osun, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday described as very unfortunate the inability of the states to pay workers’ salaries, while accusing the past PDP administration at the federal as being responsible to the economic disaster.
Aregbesola revealed this in the state capital, Osogbo when a non-governmental organisation, Osun Action Strategy Development Group, paid him a courtesy visit.
Describing the situation as an economic strategy, he attributed the current misfortune to gross mishandling of the nation’s economy by the last regime of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“The unchecked oil theft under the PDP in which the nation was losing 400,000 barrels per day, culminated in drastic reduction of oil revenue. He said.
He said: “No leader is happy to see what is happening. It is a harrowing experience to see workers work and at the end of the month, their work fails to translate to wages.
“The delay in salary pains me a lot and when I reflect on the travails of the people I feel sad about it.
“There are natural disasters caused by force majeur. There are economic disasters caused by factors above human powers.
“In our circumstance, what is available to us as allocation is less than what is needed to meet our statutory obligation however prudent we have been.
He also blamed the inability of state government to pay salary on the dwindling federal allocation to the state which could no longer cater for infrastructure and workers’ salaries.
“For four years, the gross total income accrued to our state is, N204billion and this can be contrasted to N206billion, which is the total statutory obligation of the state for four years.
“What this means is that even without money for capital projects and overhead cost this amount collected could not sustain the states statutory obligations.
“And we did not just wake up to find ourselves in this problem. It was occasioned by the mismanagement of the nation’s economy for six years by the past administration.”
Aregbesola observed that despite the financial shortage even the most virulent critics of his government cannot deny that his administration had performed creditably well.
He averred that his government build roads, schools, supplied students with Opon Imo (tablets of knowledge) distributed uniforms to all public students in the state, created welfare programmes for the old and vulnerable people as well as support farmers.
He stated that no state had done what Osun did in the area of security, which today has totally checked crimes and other anti-social activities in the state.
He also revealed that in February 2013 when the state collected N5billion as monthly allocation and April this year when it collected N540million, allocation had fallen drastically to less than 10 per cent, saying this was the dilemma of the state.
We shall overcome; we shall recover from this challenge. I sympathise and feel for the workers. I appeal to them to bear with us as we work assiduously to end this problem. I assure them that the period of agony will soon be over,” Aregbesola said.
Meanwhile, Pensioners in Osun under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners in Osun State on Wednesday (toady) staged a public protest to the State House of Assembly over the non payment of their pensions for the past seven months.
The Chairman of NUP in the state, Dr. J.A. Olunlade, in the speech he circulated to journalists lamented the death of many of his colleagues, who he said died because of lack of money to buy food and drugs.