After seven months of non-payment of workers’ salaries, Osun State government has slashed the salaries and allowances of all political office holders and appointees by half. However, it continued to blame its woes on the past administration as it announced that it would pay a month’s salary to the workers of the state.
According to a statement from the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Semiu Okanlawon, while saddened and troubled by the turn of events in the financial status of the state and the country at large, the state is taking responsibility for the unfortunate problem and is prepared to meet the challenge head-on.
“Since the inception of this government, we have treated the resources under our control with the utmost respect and disbursed them diligently for the greater benefits of our people. Our mandate had always been to use our God-given wealth to bridge the gap between the downtrodden and the government.
“It is very unfortunate that we find ourselves unable to pay our workers their due wages for several months when, in the past, we stood for paying on or before the 25th of each month. We thank the ever gracious and understanding workers of our state for their patience as we go through this most trying time.
“However, we are glad to announce that we have commenced the process of paying the balance of November and full December salaries arrears for all our workers across the state and the process should be concluded by Friday, July 3, 2015. We are able to do this because our partners and creditors have faith in us and we have proven to be responsible and trustworthy.
“We must emphasis at this point: We are not out of the woods yet! Our finances took a dive because we were hit by the shock of the sudden and massive drop in global oil prices, while Nigeria also had a federal government that failed in its primary responsibility to secure our people and our commonwealth. Thanks to the Nigerian people, that evil leadership has been removed and replaced with a progressive one. That does not translate to instant cure for our near-empty pockets. We must take drastic steps to correct many of our past errors and embrace the true realities of today.
“Therefore, we hereby announce a 50 per cent cut to the salaries and allowances of all political office holders and appointees. This is one of the many steps we are taking to ensure the sustenance of our collective. We are also calling on our people to join us and do their part in carrying the weight of change.”
Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Babatunde Adekomi, however, said: “We are yet to receive any alert, but they said there is directive to pay one month out of the salary.”