Osogbo and other towns with government workers in Osun went into jubilation as workers and pensioners thronged banks and Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to draw full August salary and other arrears.
The Osun Commissioner for Finance, Bola Oyebamiji, had earlier stated that 19.8 billion was set aside by government to offset September, October, November and December 2015 salary arrears, 2016 leave bonus and August 2018 salary to both active and passive workers in the state.
Banks and commercial centres around Ogo-Oluwa, Igbonna, Orisumbare amongst others witnessed massive patronage as many pensioners and workers were seen withdrawing money after the state government had made good its promise of disbursing the N19.8 billion for the process.
Market women and artisans were full of praises to the Aregbesola led administration for putting smiles on the faces of workers and pensioners by paying their entitlements.
A senior civil servant, Madam Modupe Faturoti held that Aregbesola has shown that he is well interested in the welfare of workers in the state by paying workers entitlement.
She held that workers and pensioners are so happy regardless of what others are saying concerning the timing of the payment, stating that it’s better than never.
“As far as I am concerned, everybody is happy that salaries have been paid, some say it is because of election. But election or no election, what I am bothered about is that my money has been paid.
“What we all should be concerned about is that the issue of half salary had been put to rest, Aregbesola has shown his sincerity because the bailout money he received was 16 billion and he is paying 19.8 billion to us”.
Also speaking, Mr. Femi Ademola, a level 09 officer in the state civil service expressed happiness over payment of the workers’salaries.
Ademola said that the payment of arrears as well as pensions for the retired civil servants is a welcome development, though some of them are not beneficiaries.
He said, “what is happening is a welcome development. The joyous mood has translated into colleagues painting the market redwith the collection of part of their arrears”, he emphasised.
It will be recalled that the finance commissioner, Mr. Bola Oyebamiji, stated that the latest Paris Club refund released to the state by Federal Government was N16.6 billion.
He added that governor Aregbesola approved the disbursement of. N19.8 billion to clear four months of salary arrears, pension arrears and leave bonus with adequate provision for full salaries going-forward.
Similar euphoria is being expressed in the markets across the state as traders expressed surprise over the rate in which they sell their wares.
A market woman, Alhaja Wosila Adeagbo, a rice seller at the Oluode Market in Osogbo noted that there has been pressure on them as customers besieged them to buy food items.
She noted that whenever workers are paid their salaries, traders have a bite of it as rate at which they sell their items goes up.
Another trader, Alhaja Sikiratu Ibrahim, said workers who had owed her had started coming to pay their debts, thanking Aregbesola for the prompt payments.