Osun starts Payment of Outstanding Workers’ Salaries

Governor-Rauf-AregbesolaThe Osun State Government on Wednesday commenced the payment of outstanding salaries to workers in the state after a battle with the pensioners, workers, students and other stakeholders in the state.
The Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Jacob Adekomi, while addressing journalists after a meeting with representative of government on the disbursement of bailout loan for workers’ salaries at the Government House in Osogbo, commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for disbursing the bailout loan for the payment of backlog of salaries.
Adekomi stated that there was no disagreement between labour and government on whether the bailout loan would not be used to pay workers’ salaries as speculated in some quarters.
He stressed that labour all the while was sure that the fund was intact but was meeting with the government on the modalities of how it would be disbursed based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of July 13, 2015, entered into with state government by labour.
Speaking on the MoU between government and the committee inaugurated on disbursement of bailout loan, the NLC boss said the funds to be disbursed would cover the payment of outstanding salaries for the month of January to June.
According to him, “In order to ensure sustainability of payment of salaries in the state the first disbursement from the bailout loan should cover the payment of outstanding September and December 2014 deductions, balance of January and February salaries and full payment of March, April and May 2015 salaries for state government workers.
“That workers in the employment of local government and primary school teachers be paid their first installment out of the bailout loan to cover the payment of balance of March and April, 2015 salaries as well as full payment of May and June, 2015 salaries.
“That state pensioners be paid balance of December, 2014 as well as January, February and March 2015 pensions while their counterparts in the local government and primary schools be paid up to June 2015,” Adekomi emphasised.
The NLC however noted that subsequent payment of salaries would be paid with available net revenue from the Federation Accounts and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) will be apportioned in a way to take care of salaries, pensions and expenditure required to run government.
He pointed out that labour had agreed to work with the government to increase IGR so as to increase the available revenue to pay salaries and other government expenditure.
Also, the Chief of Staff to the governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, who led government delegation stated that government is working for the interest of workers, saying the bailout loan is just once, hence the need for government to properly disburse it.
Oyetola described the earlier insinuations by the opposition that the state governor had been mobilising contractors back to work from the bailout loan as false and unwarranted.
The chief of staff stated that contractors getting back to construction site is as a result of the proper use of the SUKUK bond of the state, saying people of the state should be full of praises to the governor for being committed to the development of Osun.
Oyetola pointed out that the state was not the only state in the country that has got her share of the bailout loan, saying most of the states have not even disbursed the said loan to workers.
He said: “The state government is working for the interest of workers, most states that have taken the bailout loan have not disbursed it. So, there is nothing special about Osun taking its time before properly disbursing it.
“What we have done was to align with workers who asked that the number of actual workers be ascertained through verification. That is what we have just concluded. We must consider what will happen and what to do after this disbursement.”
Meanwhile, the state government Wednesday put an end to the speculations over the state of health of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Grace Laoye-Tomori.
Rumour had spread across the state since the early hours of yesterday about the state of health of Mrs. Laoye- Tomori, who was last seen in the state in July.
However, in a statement issued by Gboyega Labiran, special adviser media to the deputy governor, the government said “the immediate past Commissioner for Education in the state was very fit and sound health.”
He noted that Mrs. Laoye-Tomori officially secured an approval to proceed on annual leave for the very first time since the inception of the Gov Rauf Aregbesola political administration.
He stressed that the deputy governor, whom Labiran claimed he has been in a regular telephone contact with, would soon be back on her beat as the number two citizen in the state. -Thisday

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