Yetunde Oladejo, Osogbo
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state yesterday described the inability of his government to pay workers’ salaries as very painful saying that he has been striving to end the situation very soon. Aregbesola who disclosed this in Osogbo when a nongovernmental organisation, Osun Action Strategy Development Group, paid him a courtesy visit said he shares in the pains of the state work force.
He stated that it is disheartening for people to work and such work fails to translate into wages, saying it is a harrowing experience for both workers and government. The Governor however said the challenge of unpaid salaries should not be seen as opportunities by some to pillory either his government or any others facing the same challenges.
Aregbesola who stated that, though the regime of unpaid salary is tragic and painful, said that all stakeholders must gloss over the challenges it created so as to find a lasting solution to it. His words: “No leader is happy to see what is happening. It is a harrowing experience to see workers work and at the end of the month, their work fails to translate to wages. “The delay in salary pains me a lot and when I reflect on the travails of the people I feel sad about it. “There are natural disasters caused by force majeure.
There are economic disasters caused by factors above human powers. “In our circumstance, what is available to us as allocation is less than what is needed to meet our statutory obligation however prudent we have been. “ For four years, the gross total income accrued to our state is, N204bn and this can be contrasted to N206bn, which is the total statutory obligation of the state for four years. “What this means is that even without money for capital projects and overhead cost this amount collected could not sustain the states statutory obligations.
“And we did not just wake up to find ourselves in this problem. It was occasioned by the mismanagement of the nation’s economy for six years by the past administration. “As we are trying to find solution to these challenges, we must not also run away from what brought us to this situation. “For those who think this is an opportunity to pillory us in this economic condition, I pity them. Only God does not fail.
We shall overcome; we shall recover from this challenge. I sympathise and feel for the workers. I appeal to them to bear with us as we work assiduously to end this problem. I assure them that the period of agony will soon be over.” In his response, the Chairman of Osun Action Strategy and Development Group, Mr. Gbenga Ojo, commended the tireless efforts of the governor at positioning Osun at the front burner of development and global recognition with his laudable programmes.