Civil Servants Groan Over Unpaid Salaries In Osun | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Civil Servants Groan Over Unpaid Salaries In Osun

Posted: Jun 5, 2015 at 12:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Gbenga Faturoti  –  OSOGBO


The none payment of salaries and its accompanied strike action embarked by workers in the State of Osun is having its toll on the entire residents of the state as people groaned over the development.

Indeed, commercial activities currently are at its low ebb, as virtually all sectors of the state economy seemed to have been affected.

The opposition has however been using the development  to  attack the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration in the state, alleging that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s  administration was reckless in spending; the situation they alleged was responsible for the inability to pay salaries to workers as at and when due.

It has also gotten to a stage that even federal workers and other people having nothing to do with salary from the state government are now abusing the situation by alleging that none payment of salaries by government were responsible for their inability to meet their obligations to their neighbours and others.

The fact of the matter is that with N1.1billion being received by the state after all deductions, there is nothing the administration can do to ameliorate the situation at hand because with the earnings, some other exigency programmes such as School Feeding Programmes; sanitation exercise and others that cannot wait unattended to are reasons why the salaries palaver is mounting.

To put the record straight, the wage bills for public workers in the state is around N4.6billion and the administration needs to put together monthly allocation federation account for four months to be able to settle one month salary of workers.

If the situation is not urgently addressed, things may go worse in the state. The only hope for the state is for the intervention of the government at the centre under President Muhammadu Buhari to salvage the state and others in similar predicaments.

Oduduwa investigations revealed that the salary palaver and other financial predicaments have put serious pressure on the administration of Aregbesola. All its programmes that needed funds especially those nearing completion are left  unattended; to while the private sector cannot be said not having taste of the biter pills.

Last Tuesday, Governor Rauf Aregbesola replied critics of his administration faulting the claim that his administration had been reckless with state resources.

Aregbesola who made the position known during the inauguration of the 6th State Assembly held at Abere Osogbo, said that his administration has lived within its means by trying to at all times to fulfill government’s financial obligation to workers.

The Governor who expressed optimism that his administration shall overcome the present predicament stressed that his government has in no way exposed unnecessarily to ridicule.

Giving the breakdown of the state earnings since he took over power in November 2010; Aregbesola disclosed that the current problem started in 2012 when the state expenditure increased as a result of increase in the minimum wage.

In his words:, “Problem began in 2012 when our expenditure increased as a result of the hike in minimum wage. This was when we applied the increase in wage to junior workers only. Then, our total emoluments rose to N2.7 billion from the N1.4billion that I met in November 2010.

“By December of that year, it hit N3.5 billion. At the same period, our statutory allocation increased marginally from N2.1 billion to N2.5 billion. By July of 2013, our total emoluments hit N4 billion while our statutory allocation was N2.1 billion. By then we had extended the increase to other workers. “The summary of five years revealed that in the two months of 2010, we received a net allocation of N4.2 billion and paid a total emolument of N3.6 billion. This left us with a net gain of N573 million from our statutory allocation.

“In 2011 also, we got N29.9 billion allocation and spent N25.8 billion on emoluments with a net gain of N4 billion. However, in 2012, we got N28.4 billion and expended N31.6 billion on emoluments.

“This left us, for the first time, with a deficit of N3.2 billion. The following year, 2013, our statutory allocation had dropped to N26.4 billion while our emoluments rose to N36.9 billion.

“This gave us a whopping N10.4 billion deficit. In 2014, our statutory allocation fell further to N19.3 billion and by which time we were already defaulting on some of our obligations on emoluments, which had also dropped to N22.4 billion, but still left us with a deficit of N3 billion.

“In summary, between November 2010 and December 2014, we got a total statutory allocation of N108.3 billion and our expenditure on emoluments was N120.4 billion. It left us with a total deficit of N12 billion.”

Aregbesola added that, aside from expenditure on salaries, if other emoluments are to be included, the total recurrent expenditure will be N206 billion and statutory allocation N108.3 billion.

He also noted that adding other accruals from Abuja, it will add up to N176.5 billion, leaving the state with a deficit of almost N30 billion.

He said, “even when we add our internally generated revenue, we were still only able to muster N204 billion and still short by N2 billion. It simply means that all our earnings from all sources between 2010 and 2014 could not carry our recurrent expenditure”. The governor told the gathering.

Aregbesola added that the present administration will stop at nothing to ensure that people of the state enjoy life abundantly like they have been doing ever since he took the mantle of leadership of the state.

The Speaker of the new Assembly, Hon. Nojeem Salaam who was re-elected however appealed to striking workers to show understanding by return to their duty posts in the interest of the state.

He disclosed that state government is working assiduously to make sure quickly end the almost six months old salary impasse.

He lamented that the salary delay was occasioned by the reversal in the fortune of the financial allocation accruable to the state from the Federal allocation.

“Today, the current state of things in Osun was not the making of the state government but as a result of the economic downturn that hit the nation in general.

“The delay in salary will soon be resolved and our state’s economy returned to its vibrant part. So, I can assure you that the Governor is working round the clock to bring salary impasse to an end.

“I therefore, call on our able workers to please end the current strike they embark on in the interest of our state and people,” the Speaker said.