Why Tinubu Should Head APC BoT – Famurewa | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Why Tinubu Should Head APC BoT – Famurewa

Posted: Jul 22, 2015 at 1:45 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Hon. Ajibola Famurewa is member, House of Representatives, representing Ijesa-South Federal Constituency which comprises Ilesa-West; Ilesa-East; Atakunmosa-East, and Atakunmosa-West. In this interview with GBENGA FATUROTI, Famurewa throes his weight behind Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu for Chairmanship APC BoT. He speaks on other sundry issues, in particular unpaid salaries in the State of Osun. Excerpts…

What is your take on the unpaid salaries of workers in the state of Osun?

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Leader of APC

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Leader of APC

On the issue of salary, I want to believe that there was misinformation along the line. People were not well informed about the true position of state of finance and salary payment in the state. People have been talking about bailout from the government at the centre. The whole story about the bailout has not been opened up to our people. I think that was what actually caused confusion and misunderstanding and the state government had a very good intention. Their intention was to make sure that they pay workers but, unfortunately, the resources at its disposal as that point in time was not enough to pay the entire workforce of Osun State. So, they decided in their own wisdom to pay the junior workers grade levels 01 to 07 their full salaries and pay the senior officers part, not that the balance will not be paid very soon. They are still working on how to garner more funds to make sure that all the salary arrears would be paid completely.

So we need to be very careful in managing it in a way that it will not even affect our workers and in a way it will not also affect the masses (Nigerians). We want to develop industries within our terrains so that we can have more money to complement what we have from the federal. At the National Assembly, we are discussing with the executive arm of government on the way to handle the matter that will not affect most of the states and parties involved, but to me I believe in this state we still need to call a stakeholders meeting where the government, labour leaders, artisans, community leaders, religion leaders, some opinion leaders and political leaders. All of us will sit down and assess the state holistically. What do we have that we can develop? How much are we having presently from the federal? What do we need to pay pour workers on monthly basis? What is the short fall and how do we need to resolve this. This has to be a joint decision and more so we need to encourage our people that are benefitting from government to pay their taxes. But we don’t want to introduce additional tax that will make life difficult for our people in Osun but the existing ones, let out people pay their taxes. We need to sit down together as a people and decide how do we move forward from there.


I want you to clarify what Governor Aregbesola told reporters in Abuja about the state of things that the situation in Osun concerning salaries is beyond him. The impression people are having is that there is no solution from his end again?

If you look at the situation on the ground and if you look back say eight or ten months in the state, the revenue coming from the federal, before now we do collect between N4.4billion and N4.6billion on monthly basis from federal allocation apart from our IGR. Our IGR varies between N800million and N900million monthly. Then if you add that to our monthly allocation from the federal, it gives us N5.5b plus every month to pay salaries, do projects and run government in the state. But along the line, the allocation from federal dropped from about N4.4b to around N1billion and recently N400m. If you look at salary of about N3.6b and if the allocation is about N1b, we need to collect allocation for three to four months to pay one month salary. Definitely if I am in the shoes of Mr. Governor, he can say the issue is beyond him because there is no way for him to pay two months, he must have collected allocation of six or seven months and if you look at the financial market, the banking industry, there is a rule and regulations; there is a limit to amount of money that a particular state can borrow from financial institutions, you can’t go beyond that limit. And if you find yourself in such situation, definitely there is no other way to say that this issue is clearly beyond him, which I believe Mr. Governor was referring to.


Is it true that the state government is contemplating reducing the size of its workforce?

As a government, I don’t think we are thinking in that direction for now. What we are looking at, we are looking at a way to develop all our resources to generate more revenue internally so that we complement what we are having from Abuja, to settle our workers and do other things.


From what region of the federation do you think the APC BOT chairmanship should emerge considering the fact that most political positions under the present dispensation have been zoned to the north?

BOT Chairman is a very sensitive seat that we need a disciplined and thorough party man to handle. And if you look at the leadership that we have now, and the manner different offices have been shared, personally I will prefer it comes down South, then south-West, because I know we have a competent hand that can occupy that seat effectively in the person of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.  If you go through his antecedent right from Action Congress (AC) days, how he was able to rally round the opposition and wrestle power from the ruling party led us to where we are today, and the stakeholders should consider the fact that whether we like it or not we have the President from the North, Senate President from the North, Speaker from the North, We have senate leader from the North, Deputy Senate Leader from the North, if you look at all these offices, I think it will be normal and better and favourable, beneficial to our party if we have someone like Asiwaju to chair the party’s BOT.

Do you think that the present leadership of NASS will give the necessary backing to Mr. President in his anti-corruption crusade?

I know one thing for sure that we disagree to agree. I know the rancor within the leadership of NA will be resolved and by the grace of God, by the whole crisis is resolved; our party will come out stronger and be more united than what we are before.