Aregbesola Clears All Salary Arrears With N14.2bn

Governor Rauf Aregbesola-led government of Osun has spent a total of N14.2bn to clear all salary arrears in the state. This was revealed by the governor who made the confirmation saying the amount was paid out by his government in less than two weeks before the end of December 2016. Aregbesola stated this when the State government opened the year with supplications as the Governor led Muslim and Christian faithful at an interdenominational thanksgiving session at the Government Secretariat, Osogbo.

Aregbesola, who laced his speech with songs of praises to God in Islamic and Christian ways, said with what befell the state before the close of 2015, it was gratifying that the state bounced back in what can now be felt as relief from the hardship of last year. He said the ability of his government to pay workers’ salaries from September, October, November and December in less than a record two week period was a huge relief.

The governor said it was in September 2014 that he had to call on workers to decide whether they wanted a staff reduction or payment of salaries according to available resources when the impact of the economic hardship in the country began to bite harder. He said in July 2015, the new Federal Government which had been sworn in May, 2015, listened to some of the solutions proffered to the national revenue crisis. Aregbesola said when the state got N34.9bn bailout loan in 2015, there were controversies on how to disburse the funds when some people insisted that the whole funds be spent all at once.

“But I knew that with the magnitude of the economic crisis facing Nigeria, it would have been suicidal to expend the whole bailout loan at once without saving a portion of it which eventually bailed us out till around February this year,” Aregbesola said. The governor recalled that this was what made necessary, the constitution of the state’s Revenue Apportionment Committee headed by labour veteran Comrade Hassan Sunmonu which he said made it possible for the state to pay salaries till February of 2016. He said the arrival of the Paris Club deductions refunds which made N11.7bn available to the state has brought some relief noting that the state would however need to intensify its efforts towards self-sustenance. “We are grateful that our hardships are getting over giving us indications that the new year would be better.” he added. The governor while expressing appreciation to workers who showed understanding, appealed to those who have not shown signs of understanding the trends.

He added, “LAUTECH lecturers have insisted they would not cooperate with the government despite their knowledge of the economic conditions we face. We appeal to them to accept our fate at the moment for the sake of the students’ future.” He expressed optimism that by June this year, there are signs that the recession would come to an end. While appealing to all stakeholders to look inward, Aregbesola charged traditional rulers promote agriculture in their respective domain just as he appealed to them to engage in vigorous campaigns for payment of taxes. “We want to engage massively in agriculture. We want to aggressively grow cassava, maize, plantain, rice, soya beans and the existing cocoa which our people are already growing.

It is now clear that those who are looking for free things will wait forever. It’s certain that oil price can no longer return to its old rates and free money won’t come again. If we don’t want to continue to suffer this lack, farming is the only venture we must embark on,” He assured that the government would give financial aides to those interested in farming. The governor also hinted that by 1st of February, this year, his government would enforce the use of the standard measures and scales for all commercial transactions as part of efforts to make commerce attractive in Osun. “Whoever fails to use Osunwon Omoluabi will face the consequences.”

The Head of Service Mr. Sunday Owoeye, in his speech saluted the courage and commitment of the Osun workforce. Owoeye, who said revenue generation should be a major focus of the workers in the new year, said the workers have shown commitment. “I wish to acknowledge the sacrifice and endurance of Public Servants in the State in these trying times we are passing through. We have proved to the whole world our resilience in the face of unanticipated challenges such that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going!

Whenever the history of the State will be written in future and the achievements of this sparkling Aregbesola Administration are enumerated, the indomitable and altruistic spirit with which the Public Servants weather the current storms shall definitely occupy a conspicuous space! “I wish to charge every public servant to continue to support this administration in its drive towards self-sufficiency by being more proactive in revenue generation. The largest room in the world is the room for improvement and the road to success is always under construction ad infinitum!” In his sermon, Dr. Isiaka Lawal of the College of Education Ilesa, advised civil servants to abide by the rules of their engagements noting that leakages of officially classified documents, no matter for what reason, contradicts civil service rules.


Pay Workers’ Salaries with N552bn Refund- Buhari Tells Governors

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on state governors to use at least 25 per cent of the refunds made to them from excess deductions for external debt service of Nigeria’s Paris Club debt to clear outstanding workers’ entitlements.
A statement by his media aide, Mr. Garba Shehu revealed that the president approved N552.74bn to be paid in batches to all the states, which were entitled to the refund which arose from claims by the states that they had been overcharged in deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002.
The statement read: “When he assumed office last year, the president declared an emergency on unpaid salaries, following the discovery that 27 out of the 36 states had fallen behind in payments to their workers, in some cases for up to a year.
“Following this, a bailout loan was issued to the states twice, with a first batch of about N300 billion given to them in 2015 in the form of soft loans.
“The administration also got the Debt Management Office to restructure their commercial loans of over N660 billion and extended the life span of the loans.
“Because this did not succeed in pulling many of the states out of distress, the federal government this year gave out a further N90 billion to 22 states as yet another bailout under very stringent conditions.
“President Buhari is of the opinion that the payment of salaries and pensions must be given priority to save both serving and retired workers and their families from distress.”