Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led Oyo state government has disclosed that 60% of the latest Paris Club Refund of N7.9bn will be expended on salaries, wages and pensions of workers in the state, saying that its decision to use 100% of its federal allocations for workers’ welfare still stands.
The government has also explained that about 80% of its much touted debt profile of N115bn by political opponents is made up of salaries, gratuities, pensions and wages owed workers and pensioners in the state, emphasizing that it also includes gratuities and pensions predating Governor Ajimobi’s administration.
The State Commissioner for Finance and Budget, Mr. Abimbola Adekanmbi made these explanations while featuring on a live Programme on a private radio station in Ibadan at the weekend, saying that the remaining 20% is largely composed of financial support from the federal government such as budget support and infrastructural loan.
Adekanmbi stated that the the Abiola Ajimobi’s administration is very committed to the welfare of the entire people of the state, hence, its decision to deplore 60% of the first disbursement of the first tranche of Paris Club Refund for workers welfare which is more than the 50% suggested by President Muhammad Buhari.
According to the Commissioner, “We will all recall that President Buhari has told state governments to use at least 50% of the refund for workers’ wages, salaries and allowances. We are doing more than the 50% in Oyo State. When we collected the first tranche of N7.2bn, we used 60 % for workers’ salaries and wages. We also collected a part two of the inflow of the sum of N5.003bn and committed 100% to salaries and salary related payments of workers in the state.
“We have paid two months salaries three times consecutively and the governor has not relented in his efforts to clear all the outstanding wages. We will all remember that Oyo State was initially excluded from the refund, but the governor’s tenacity and strong will ensured that we also got our share.
“It amazes me when people throw figures in the air without proper explanation or understanding. It is ver disappointing when people who claim to be knowledgeable bandy figures for mischief with malicious intent for cheap political gain. Our books are available for all to see and the leadership of the workers’ unions meet with us regularly. We devote 100% of our federal allocations to workers’ salaries and salary related and we did not borrow all the N115bn debt.
“About 80% of it is an accumulation of outstanding salaries, pensions, gratuities including those from previous administrations. We will do all within our capacity to always set the record straight and put things in proper perspective with a view to enlightening the public,” Mr. Adekanmbi said.