By Ismaeel Uthman
The state government of Osun has been reported to have resolved to commit N5.1billion of the second tranche of Paris Club Refund to the payment of arrears of leave bonus, salary and pension of the workers and pensioners of the state and those of the local government.
The state government had last week announced that it had received N6.314 billion as its own share of the refund.
The Comrade Hassan Sunmonu led Appropriation Committee and the Labour unions in the state agreed to the payment of the balance of July and August of 2015 salaries, balance of leave bonus of 2015 and July 2017 salary from the refund.
It was gathered that the decision to spend N5.1 billion to settle the arrears of pension and salary was arrived at on Wednesday night.
The arrears of leave bonus, pension and salary are expected to be paid any time from now.
The Osun Defender gathered that the meeting which was inconclusive on Tuesday was finalised on Wednesday with leaders of all the labour unions in attendance.
It was gathered that Governor Rauf Aregbesola was represented by his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola at the meeting.
Labour leaders at the meeting included the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Jacob Adekomi, Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Adebowale Adekola and Chairman of Joint Negotiation Council, Comrade Bayo Adejumo.
Others included Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE) Comrade Deji Adeyeye, Chairman of Nigerian Union of Teachers (TUC), Comarde Waheed Amuda, Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners in Osun State, Alhaji G.O Salawu, NLC Secretary, Pastor Rufus Adeyemi, Dr Niyi Oginni of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), representative of the workers of the state owned tertiary institutions and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.
The beneficiaries of the arrears are level 8 and above workers of the state who constitute 35 per cent of the workforce. They had been receiving modulated salary since July 2015.
Workers on level 1 to 7 who constitute 65 per cent of the state personnels were being paid full salary.
The commitment of the N5.1 billion is far above the 50 per cent recommendation of the Federal Government for the payment of salary of workers from the Paris Club refund.