Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has urged workers in the state to persevere a little more in weathering the financial storm that has been facing the state for quite some time.
The governor at a meeting held with labour leaders in the state on Monday night, expressed the conviction that the end to the financial problem of the state would soon be over and normalcy will return to governance in the state.
Aregbesola who acknowledged the cooperation, support and perseverance of the workforce since the financial problem came through no fault of his government; said history would judge them well as having made immense contributions to the growth and development of the state.
The Governor made it clear that it is impossible for him to deliberately make life difficult for the workers he has invested so much compassion on, saying what is happening is inevitable.
Speaking on payment of November salary, Aregbesola said it is coming late as a result of late release of allocation from the federation account and lack of sufficient Internally Generated Revenue.
He said his government has always strove to get the modulated salary formula paid monthly and promptly so that workers and pensioners will have some money to live with.
This, he said has been consistent in comparison with what is obtainable in surrounding states where workers were owed several months of salary.
Aregbesola who noted that the present pattern of modulated salary payment cannot be altered for now due to obvious lack of fund to so do, however said workers would begin to receive bank alert for the payment of November salary any moment.
He expressed pains at the plight of contributory pensioners, assuring them that his government is doing all in its powers to get them relieved of the undeserved burden of not been paid their dues on time.
The governor who noted that but for the Nigerian system, promotion should be a matter of merit as it is in other land, said government does not have the financial means should it decided to do it the usual way.
Aregbesola stated that it does not make sense to promote workers in the time of financial crisis when it was difficult to pay even the modulated salary currently being paid.
He called for a new orientation within the workforce whereby every worker will see him or herself as tax marshals so as to raise enough revenue for the running of government and without expectations of fund from anywhere else, saying most developed countries rely on tax in running their government.
Emphasizing the need for the new orientation in view of the development in the world, whereby the relevance of oil which Nigeria relied upon so much is getting reduced, Aregbesola added that there is no alternative to generating revenue internally for the running of governments.
The labour leaders turned down the dinner prepared for them even with pleadings from the head of Service, Dr Gboyega Oyebade who was once a leading light in the state labour movement.
The workers reminded that both the first and second tranche of the Paris Club Refund were used to pay salary and pensions, disclosing that a huge sum of money was added to the first tranche to pay three months salaries to the workers.
About 95 per cent of the second tranche of the paris club refund, according to the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa was used to pay workers salary, arrears and pension in July this year.
Baderinwa said the third tranche of the refund would also be committed to payment of salary pension and other financial commitment as might be decided by the Comrade Hassan Sumonu led Apportionment Committee.