LETTER TO THE EDITOR
While the going was good and the state revenue from FAC was fat, no one was owed in Osun even when other states in the country were owed. Not even there was anything like “Afusa” which many aspirants today have turned to their hit song.
However, tides changed, the price of crude oil worldwide dwindled from the $100 per barrel to $40 per barrel. The adverse effect of this on a nation like ours which had solely relied on the downstream sector to prosper was grossly felt. This plunged the country’s economy into recession which made life unbearable for many in the country even as government was intensifying effort to get the economy back to it state of boom through diversification.
As a result, many governors, and other establishment who could not cope started laying offworkers to enable them face the reality of the day. It was even reported that a governor asked civil servants to come to work from Monday to Wednesday while the remaining days should be used for farming, nobody called for his head, they all took it in good faith.
Meanwhile, instead of going in the way of others, Aregbesola was borrowing to pay salaries until it was dawn on him. He called a meeting of some stakeholders including the state labour chairman where it was agreed that salaries would be tailored according to the income they receive.
It was afterwards he introduced the half salary as against sacking of workers, in a state largely dominated by civil servants. Aregbesola was so magnanimous to the extent that he left the low earners out of the half salary scheme. That is, those between level 1 and 7 were excluded from the modulated arrangement and level 8 upward were affected. He promised to offset when things get better which he has started.
Yesterday the Government of the State of Osun has commenced gradual disbursement of N19,801,328,271.22 as salaries and other entitlements to its workers. With this, he has showed he can be held by his words.
People who are using this to score cheap political points should desist from this.. I am quite sure if he had sacked many workers so that the remaining few can get their full pay, we would have cried a river then and by now get over it, rather he has put the welfare of workers in the state above other considerations.
- Ibrahim Abimbola, Ede, State of Osun.