Governor of Osun State Rauf Aregbesola has expressed regret over his inability to pay workers’ salaries for months now.
Although he recently said the issue was beyond him, Aregbesola said he was not helpless because he has Allah.
Delivering a Ramadan Lecture titled: “Ramadan, Living in The Season of Positive Change”at the event organised by the Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society, at the Women Development Centre, Abuja, the governor said he never said he was ‘helpless’.
“It is extremely painful that I cannot pay salary. It is painful that I have to be in this condition,” Vanguard quoted him to have said.
“I am not helpless because I have Allah and the people with me. And whoever has Allah and the people has everything,” he said.
He gave assurance that he was making efforts to pay the outstanding salaries of the civil servants and will pay soon.
He explained that the state had in the past borrowed up to N25 billion from banks to support the allocation from the federation account to pay workers salaries but the banks have stopped lending him money.
According to Aregbesola, the state’s wage bill was N3.5 billion monthly but in the face of dwindling allocation from the federal government, his administration has found it difficult to pay, even though the state increased its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N900 million to N8 billion annually.
“I didn’t envisage that 400,000 barrels of crude oil would be stolen daily. But the whipping boys must be the governors and I am the ‘Chief’ of the whipping boys,” Aregbesola said.
However, Aregbesola expressed delight that with the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as president, everything will change.
The governor hailed the Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society which organized the event. He noted that “terrorism is a challenge to Islam and it is the Muslims who will solve it”.
Some of the dignitaries at the lecture included Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais, wife of Nasarawa state governor, Mrs Mairo Al-makura, Senators Abubakar Sodangi and Khairat Gwadwabe as well as a former Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Suleiman and many more.