By Ishola ‘Layinka
The State Government of Osun has released figures explaining in details how it disbursed the N6.314b received from the Federal Government as the second tranche of the Paris Club Refund given to states in the federation.
In an infograph released by the government, the state paid out N5,998,493,302.05 out as salaries, pensions, leave bonuses and other emoluments to its workforce above recommended figures by labour unions in the state. Recall the state through a Revenue Apportionment Committee headed by Comrade Hassan Sunmonu regularly meet with the unions to apportion revenue in the state.
Giving the breakdown, N503,908,457.4 was paid as Leave Bonuses to Civil Servants, N3,768,669,258 was used to pay workers’ salaries as well as clear July and August half-salary arrears of 2015 owed senior cadre of workers in the state.
The State Government of Osun in the infograph said N934,841,306 was used to pay Local Government Workers as a total sum of N791,074,280.8 went to the pockets of the pensioners that retired from the civil service.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2016, approved the partial refund of long standing claims by state governments in respect of over-deductions from their Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, for external debt service between 1995 and 2002.
The debt service deductions were in respect of the Paris Club, London Club and Multilateral debts of the Federal and State governments, which Nigeria reached a final agreement for debt relief with the Paris Club in October 2005.
Since the first tranche of the refund was released in November 2016, Osun specifically disbursed the payment by using all the refund to settled workers arrears in the state.
Although, the disbursements were premised on the condition that a minimum of 50 per cent would be applied for the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions but Osun raised the ceiling to more than
.80 per cent.
The government however expressed its determination to fulfill all its financial obligations as soon as the state’s economy improves.