Oyo to Use 60% of N7.9b Paris Club Refund on Salaries
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Oyo State government has promised to use 60 percent of the latest Paris Club Refund of N7.9 billion to pay salaries, wages and pensions of workers in the state, saying that its decision to use 100 percent of its federal allocations for workers’ welfare still stands.
The government has also explained that about 80 percent of its much touted debt profile of N115bn by political opponents is made up of salaries, gratuities, pensions and wages owed workers and pensioners in the state, emphasizing that it also includes gratuities and pensions predating Governor Ajimobi’s administration.
Commissioner for Finance and Budget, Mr Abimbola Adekanmbi, made these explanations while featuring on a live programme on a private radio station in Ibadan at the weekend, saying that the remaining 20 percent was largely composed of financial support from the federal government such as budget support and infrastructural loan.
Mr Adekanmbi stated that the Abiola Ajimobi’s administration was very committed to the welfare of the entire people of the state, hence, its decision to deplore 60% of the first disbursement of the first tranche of Paris Club Refund for workers welfare which is more than the 50 percent suggested by President Muhammad Buhari.
According to the Commissioner, “We will all recall that President Buhari has told state governments to use at least 50% of the refund for workers’ wages, salaries and allowances.
“We are doing more than the 50 percent in Oyo State. When we collected the first tranche of N7.2 billion, we used 60 percent for workers’ salaries and wages.
“We also collected a part two of the inflow of the sum of N5.003 billion and committed 100 percent to salaries and salary related payments of workers in the state.
“We have paid two months salaries three times consecutively and the governor has not relented in his efforts to clear all the outstanding wages.
“We will all remember that Oyo State was initially excluded from the refund, but the governor’s tenacity and strong will ensured that we also got our share.
“It amazes me when people throw figures in the air without proper explanation or understanding. It is very disappointing when people who claim to be knowledgeable bandy figures for mischief with malicious intent for cheap political gain.
“Our books are available for all to see and the leadership of the workers’ unions meet with us regularly. We devote 100 percent of our federal allocations to workers’ salaries and salary related and we did not borrow all the N115 billion debt.
“About 80 percent of it is an accumulation of outstanding salaries, pensions, gratuities including those from previous administrations. We will do all within our capacity to always set the record straight and put things in proper perspective with a view to enlightening the public,” Mr Adekanmbi said.