Governor Rauf Aregbesola has been transparent enough on issues bothering on payment of workers’ salaries in Osun State since the emergence of economic crunch.
Fielding questions from newsmen in Osogbo, the immediate past commissioner for information and strategy, Hon. Sunday Akere said the governor has since last year set up a labour-government joint committee to oversee the sharing of allocation accruing to the state and its internally generated revenue for the payment of salaries and pensions.
He disclosed that the committee, chaired by a veteran labour leader, had since last July taken charge of sharing allocation and had not at any point in time subjected to any pressure from the governor.
According to him, labour leaders and government representatives get all the figures from Abuja and the one from the IGR, which, he said was to a large extent responsible for the understanding the labour leaders showed the government because there is no secret in the whole process.
Akere berated the opposition for the rumour orchestrated that government would not meet its obligation to the workforce because of the N6m allocation accrued to it for the month of January.
He said that when the state had a deficit of N24m in November last year it still met its obligation to the workforce.
The former commissioner disclosed that the state was ‘‘clean’’ with declaring it debt profile, which was the reason its commitment is being deducted from the source unlike other states that hide their debt profile and still cannot meet their obligations to their workers.
“Many of the state which receive huge sums of monies on papers still owed workers salary for six, seven, eight months because they have to pay their debt first after which they could not pay their workers.
Osun only owes its workforce three months salaries in line with its agreement with the labour union and payment for January is billed to commence this week, this is an attestation that the state government is seriously concerned with the situation”, he added.
He commended the state workforce for the understanding it showed the state government since the beginning of the economic meltdown, saying as soon as the financial situation in the country improves, the workers would also enjoy the due benefits.
He also called on the opposition parties in the state to jettisoned bitter politics and embark on constructive criticism in a bid to develop the state.