Paris Refunds: Osun Workers, Pensioners Receive N5.1bn

By Ismaeel Uthman and Damilola Ojenike

Workers in the State of Osun have been acknowledging the payment of their July
2017 salary, arrears and leave bonus, while the pensioners in the state have also confirmed the receipt of their pension for last months.

The workers who spoke differently with OSUN DEFENDER on Wednesday stated that the July salary was paid on Monday, while some claimed that they received the alert from their banks on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to some of the workers, the state government paid the arrears of July and August 2015 salary last week, while the balance of leave bonus of 2015 was also paid.

Findings revealed that only workers on levels 8 and above received the arrears, because they are the only set of workers being paid modulated salary.

It was gathered that the 2015 leave bonus balance was received by only the workers whose date of birth or employment date fall between July and December.

The state government had paid the leave bonus till June 2015 before the financial challenges that faced the state.

Confirming the payment, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa revealed that the sum of N5, 131,680,567.59 was expended on full salaries and pensions up till July 2017 for Level 1 to 7 Staff being the most vulnerable, balance of full salaries for the remaining Staff up till August 2015, and balance of 2015 leave bonus.

It would be recalled that the state government had, in agreement with labour unions in the state agreed to use the second tranche of the Paris Club Loan Refunds for the payment of salaries and pensions.

While giving a detailed analysis of the payments, Mr. Baderinwa said workers from Levels 1-7 which constitute majority of the state’s workforce were never owed in the state. He said they have always received their full salaries contrary to popular opinion.

“Workers in level 1-7, being the most vulnerable and the largest chunk of the state civil service, have received their full salaries and entitlement up to July 2017. Likewise, workers in grade level 8-10 showed understanding with the government to accept 75 per cent of their salaries and full leave bonus.

“It is only workers in grade level 12-17 that receive 50 per cent of salaries and full leave bonus, and so far, they have also showed maturity and understanding with the state government. The same formula applies with our pensioners,” Baderinwa stated.

The commissioner also revealed that the payment formula was jointly agreed on with Labour-led Revenue Apportionment Committee which consist of all the labour union leaders and representative of government chaired by veteran Labour Leader, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu.

“The Apportionment Committee reviews in transparent manner, all revenues of Government and agrees on how these are apportioned to pay salaries and pensions, a model unprecedented for Governments in Nigeria”, he said.

It would be recalled that in December 2016, the state government received N11,744,237,793.56 as the first tranche of the Paris Refund, but paid out a N13,645,546,673.04 to clear salaries, leave bonuses and pension arrears of four months.

The sum was paid after the government had augmented the first tranche of the refund with N1.9bn to augment salary payment to local government workers.

The Accountant-General had sometimes explained “the sum of N8,519,437.233.43 was paid out as salaries for September, October, November and December 2016. Similarly, the sum of N924,676,305.24 was paid out as leave bonuses for the four months, while the sum of N2,496,605,100.64 was paid as pensions for the same period.”

Explaining how the state spent above the N11.74bn received as Paris Club Refund, he noted that the sum of N1,704,828,033.73 was transferred to the ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for the payment of salaries at that level.

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