It gives me great pleasure to be at this great occasion on this special day set aside globally to celebrate workers and commemorate the origin of the struggle for better working condition for workers.
From the first man created by God or post cave dwellers transition (for social evolutionists). It is work that has brought the phenomenal progress in human society.
The most important agent of development is humans. Cities are built by the aggregate of human efforts committed to it within a period of time.
Even the most sophisticated machines are useless without humans to operate them.We are still waiting for the first machine capable of its own intelligence,beyond what its makers programmed it to do and it appears we have a long waiting to do.
We are particularly grateful for the fiercely loyal,dedicated,hardworking,industrious and God-fearing workers we have in Osun.We owe the success recorded by our administration to them.Last time i checked, 884km of road projects have been completed across the state by our administration and we are still ocunitng.We owe this to the workers.We are building new schools and rehabilitating existing ones.So far, 18 brand new state of the art schools have been completed and have been put to use,this is because workers want this program me to succeed. We have engaged more than 40,000 youths in public works and given them soft landing in various vocations,in an unprecedented move that wiped off unemployment and crashed crime rate in Osun.
It is because workers believe in it and are committed to its success.We engage in O`this and O`that in the bid to empower our people and create wealth in our land.It is because workers are at the forefront.I can go on till infinitum but there is no doubt that without workers,no administration can succeed in doing anything.
Our workers have also demonstrated unsurpassed understanding and forbearance in the face of the challenges we are going through.I will be eternally grateful to them.However ,i want us to always keep in mind how we got to this sorry pass.
We were told by the last regime that 400,000bbls of crude oil were being stolen daily. This will amount to N5.78trillion if a barrel sells for $100 and $1 exchanges for N200. If this has been remitted to the federation account, you can imagine what would have accrued to Osun. If we receive in excess of N4Billion each time N1trillion is disbursed.You will note that the dumping of 400k barrels at giveaway prices into the black market is partly responsible for the glut in the oil market.
Then ,of course we have been regaled with incredible and heart wrenching tales of how trillions of naira had been taken from source and shared by the functionaries of that government and its party leaders in what amounts to a declaration of war against Nigeria that subsequently brought about the precipitous crash in price,further compounding our financial woes.
The cumulative effect of this is the challenges the Federal Government and 27 states of the Federation have in fulfilling their monthly obligations to workers,necessitating a bailout.
I want to also assure you,contrary to the insinuation being made by our traducers who claimed we diverted the bailout funds,that nothing of such happened.This is the concoction of a mischievous opposition and their media conspirators.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) never indicted us.Other media agencies reported the ICPC accurately that the data it published on disbursement of bailout funds by states was at October last year and this was given to them by us.How could we have indicted ourselves.
I am happy that ICPC has cleared the air.The anti-corruption body has written to us affirming again that the information it gave out covered only October 2015,saying that it never indicted us since no evidence exists that we applied funds to any other matter outside of workers salaries.
I must also let you know that there is no way we could have diverted the funds knowing that it was not sufficient enough our needs in the first place.
Although the bail out helped a great deal in clearing the arrears of salaries and pensions up till January this year and of course without the understanding and cooperation of Labour,it could not have sufficed for our needs before then and now.
We demanded for N64.3Billion to cover outstanding salaries,pensions and gratuities up till June 2015 for the state workers and N23.8Billion to cover the salaries,pension and gratuities for local government workers for the same period.However, we got N25.8Billion for state and N9.1Billion for local government totaling N34.9Billion.
So we can all see that this is a far cry from what we asked for.We got this far only because of exceptional financial engineering,extreme prudence and commendable cooperation of Labor. For this also,we will be eternally grateful.
I want to assure you all that the worst is over and we shall be out of the woods very soon,sooner than expected.We have had very fruitful meetings with President Buhari who has been very concerned and has given us his assurance of every assistance we need in our immediate ,middle and long term plans.
We have therefore decided to dedicate this road to workers and has renamed it workers drive.
In thanking and saluting the workers,i want to remind you also that wealth creation is the antidote to poverty.Our wealth is the sum of our productivity.We should all strive to be productive,more than ever before.
Workers in particular must measure their productivity by how they have fulfilled the objectives of their different agencies and how they have collectively realized the raison dètre of the government.This must be in clearly definable concrete terms.
All our youths and able bodied adults looking for jobs must find something productive doing.The workers who want to supplement their income should be engaged in agriculture in particular since this is an area where we have comparative advantage.
We have provided various incentives for agriculture which the people should take advantage of and return to the farms.I congratulate all workers today and wish you all a fruitful and happy celebration.