By Kazeem Mohammed
Facts have emerged on how the government of the State of Osun has fared on the payment of salaries of its workers, as the largest number of the workforce has been established to have received their full salaries up to date.
According to a data made available to OSUN DEFENDER, 65 per cent of the workers are on grade level 1 to 7, 25 per cent on grade level 8 to 10, while 10 per cent is on grade level 12 and above.
As at June 2017, the data showed that workers on grade level 1 to 7, who constitute the majority of the workforce in the state have received their salaries till June 2017, contrary to the impression created that civil servants were being paid half salaries across the board.
The data also showed that 25 per cent of the workers population who are on grade level 8 to 10 have received 75 per cent of their salaries till June 2017, while only the 10 per cent of the workers who are on grade level 12 and above have been taking 50 per cent of their salaries, which they have received till June 2017.
The salary arrangement, according to the data was in line with the Modulated Salary Arrangement agreed on by the government and the Labour Unions in the state when it was clear to all parties that the financial capacity of the state could not cope with the sum of money required to pay workers’ salary.
The government and the labour unions were forced to decide on the modulated salaries due to dwindling allocation to the states of the federation, owing to the oil theft and corruption perpetrated by the ousted Federal Government led by the PDP.
It was however gathered that the pensioners in the state have also been paid their pensions till June 2017 in line with the modulated salary arrangement contrary to the impressions being created against the government.
Meanwhile, the government subsequently set up a committee, led by the renowned former Labour Leader, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, with representatives of labour unions and government to monitor the revenue coming to the coffer of the government for the purpose of salary payment.
While some states still owe workers across board their full salaries for close to a year, the Osun government adopted the modulated salary option to ensure that workers have something to lay their hands on every month, instead of retrenching workers in the state.
It would be recalled that impressions have been created that all workers in the service of Osun government were taking 50 per cent of their salaries up to date across board, a situation that has resulted to the formulation of a popular parlance in the state, ‘Hafusa’.
However, while some states in the South-West region have not paid any salary of their workers in 2017, it was gathered that some, has only been able to pay for the January alone.
The governor, Rauf Aregbesola has recently assured the workers that the government would pay the outstanding part of the salaries of workers as the revenue of the state improves.
However, the governor at a programme organised by the Osun Police Community Relations Committee o Wednesday has described as falsehood, insinuations that Osun is not paying workers their monthly salaries, saying, in spite the economic challenges confronting the nation and Osun state in particular, his administration has not failed in paying the state workforce regularly.
Aregbesola who said he was aware of the insinuation being peddled by those he regarded as adversaries to incite the public against his administration, said, workers in the state have been paid up to June 2017 and his administration has done so much in prioritising the welfare of the workforce, a situation which, according to him has made a difference to the course of good governance.
“So, outside that category of workers on grade level 12 and above, no other receives half of his or her salaries.
“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, workers will earn their salary in line with the agreement we have with workers.
“I am saying this to correct the impression of those spreading falsehood and capitalising on this that we have been defaulting on our responsibilities as regards the payment of workers’ salaries in accordance with the available resources.
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.
“One thing that is certain about money is that once you don’t have it you cannot use it. It doesn’t mean we hate them; it’s because of the limited resources to pay them and meet physical expenditure”, the governor stressed.