…Advocates federalised policing
By: Tunde Oyekola, Osogbo
The Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Wednesday frowned over what he regarded as falsehood insinuations that Osun is not paying workers their monthly salaries.
This was even as the Governor advocated for a federalized policing which he said remains the only panacea to effective and efficient policing in Nigeria.
Aregbesola said in spite the economic challenges confronting the nation and Osun state in particular, his administration has not failed in paying the state workforce regularly.
Governor Aregbesola made the statement in Osogbo, the state capital while delivering a key note address at a programme organised by the Osun state command of the Police Community Relations Committee.
Aregbesola said he was aware of the insinuation being peddled by those he regarded as adversaries to incite the public against his administration, saying workers in the state have been paid up to June 2017.
He said his administration has done so much in prioritising the welfare of the workforce, an initiative which according to him has made a difference to the course of good governance.
According to him, there is need to educate Nigerians about the salary situation in Osun, because some people have been saying that since my administration is conscious about eradicating poverty why not pay workers’ salaries?
“Let me make a resounding correction that despite the paucity of funds, it is only a section of workers on grade level 12 and above who receives painfully 50 percent of their gross salaries based on agreement between the government and the labour union.
“So outside that category of workers on grade level 12 and above, no other receives half of his or her salaries and the workers in this category are just 20 percent of the state workforce.
“Outside that, officers on levels 8-10 receive 75 percent of their salaries while officers on levels 7 and below receive their full pay.
“Contrary to what the naysayers claim about us, all workers in the state have received their salaries up to June this year according to the payment scheme and agreement. The only outstanding salary in Osun is the month we are in and by the grace of God before the month end, every worker will earn their salary in line with the agreement will have with workers.
The state helmsman noted that his administration has also been conscious of the welfare of pensioners, saying the state has paid pensioners their dues just as active workers have been paid.
He added, “As we pay active workers, so we pay pensioners. The only outstanding pay to pensioners is the gratuity and this is due to workers who choose not to participate in the Contributory Pension Scheme and therefore left service in 2011/2012.
“The amount required to service that gratuity is about N5billion and we keep on telling them that once we have the capacity to so do, we will surely pay them.
“The pensioners in the state do receive their pensions and what is outstanding is only the N5billion gratuities that we cannot afford for now”
While advocating for the devolution of police structure, Governor Aregbesola canvassed for a total federalisation of Nigeria Police which he said is the only solution to myriads of civil challenges in the country.
He said unless the powers that reside in the Police are decentralised into zonal units, the Force would continue to languish in challenges and poor professionalism.
“If we are truly serious about combating crimes and criminality most especially the acts of terrorism and kidnapping, then we have to federate the present structure of Nigeria police.
“It is obsolete for the Inspector General of Police receiving direct brief from state Commissioner of Police. Nigeria is too big for this.
“So if we cannot afford total decentralisation of Police, then let us adopt zonal Command structure that will localise policing within the zone.
“I am advocating for federation of police structure. We must have state and local police structure so as to effectively combat crimes and criminality in the country.
“As we all know, most of our security challenges are basically due to inability of our centralized structure of policing in which police do fail to effectively understand the terrain to which perpetrators of many of these crimes operate”, Aregbesola stressed.
In his lecture, the former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, attributed some of the socio-economic, religious, political and security challenges in the country to lack of personal sacrificial spirit between and among Nigerian people.
Arase whose lecture zeroed on the theme of the symposium, “Combating Twin Evil of Terrorism and Kidnapping through People’s Policing in Nigeria”, condemned in its totality what he described as barbaric the incessant cases of kidnapping, terrorism and insurgency in the country.
He said it is a time for all to develop consciousness towards securing the society by reporting any strange within and outside the individuals’ communities, states and nation at large.
He charged men and officers of Nigeria Police Force on the need to champion professionalism, efficiency, effectiveness and proficiency while discharging their constitutional responsibilities to the people.