By Dipo Olowookere
The Ogun State government said it will use the N17.3 billion released to it by federal government from the recent Paris Club refund to offset the backlog of cooperative deductions, gratuity, severance allowances, furniture allowances and other social services.
According to the Commissioner for Finance in the state, Mr Adewale Oshinowo, N10 billion, which represents 60 percent of the money, would be used for the purpose.
Speaking last week at a press conference held at Oke Mosan in Abeokuta, the Commissioner said, ”As we have always done, we are here to update all our stakeholders, particularly our civil and public servants, that Mr President has graciously released the last tranche of Paris Club of N17.3 billion.
“The Governor of Ogun state, Mr Ibikunle Amosun, has directed that the sum of N17.3 billion received be expended on the immediate payment of the backlog of cooperative deductions, gratuity, severance, furniture allowance of its workforce and social services.
“The governor also explained that N10 billion of the N17.3 billion be immediately expended on workforce while the balance of N7.3 billion will as well be spent on social services for the benefits of the over 7.5 million Ogun state indigenes.
“This is in line with this administration’s welfare package for the workers.
“The administration, as you all know, is worker-friendly. This informed its decision to increase the salaries of workers in 2012 which doubled our monthly wage bill. It is a testament to the value this government places on its workforce that it pays the highest salaries in the entire federation.
“The Amosun government consistently pays workers’ salaries at when due.
“The latest payment will, no doubt, boost the morale of public service workforce and. enhance its productivity.
“On behalf of the state government, I thank the civil servants in the State for their cooperation and patience while assuring that government will, from time to time, offset any outstanding staff related expenses as soon as more funds are available.
“Mr Ibikunle Amosun will continue to do all within its power to cater for civil and public servants in Ogun state.”
Responding to the development, the Chairman of the Trade Union Congress in the state Comrade Abiodun Olakanmi said the union is pleased with the development but further appealed that the government should as well conduct the backlogs of promotional exercises in the state as it remains paramount to the workers.
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