Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration yesterday said it has paid to the state’s pensioners the sum of N24.3billion as pension and gratuity, while the local government staff, including teaching staff of primary schools and non-teaching staff of the local governments had received N13.6billion”.
The Government also said it inherited N4 billion pension arears from PDP administration while his administration paid N1.2 billion.
The government pointed out that the total debt of the state was N39billion contrary to the claim by the People Democratic Party that it was N400billion.
Addressing journalists on the financial status of the state, the State Commissioner for Finance Budget and Economy Planing, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro posited that the total debt of the state was not beyond redemption, stressing that the state was buoyant to carry out its day to day duties to all citizens of the state.
According to him, “the philosophy of the present administration is based on the welfare and good living standard of the people and unlike in the past where the treasury of the state were looted and did not follow due process for seven years under Peoples Democratic Party.”
Bolorunduro disclosed that despite challenges posed by the dwindling revenue to the state from the federal government, the state government has paid a total sum of N23.5billion to pensioners as pension and gratuity to retired workers in the state.
He also noted that the 142 per cent pension liabilities the current administration inherited from the last administration was another critical issue that needed clarification for the benefit of the citizens of the state.
He said that the rail-roading of workers into the new contributory pension scheme by the PDP administration in the state despite their unwillingness had great impact in the state, noting that the previous administration that approved the forceful resignation did not consider the cash flow implication when granting the approval.
“For the avoidance of doubts, over 5,000 employees of the state joined the existing over 9,000 retirees in the state, while the local government retirees schedule also increased by about 3,500.
“The retirees, for the avoidance of doubts continue to enjoy their monthly emolument, albeit slightly reduced by 15 percent. The impact of this is a huge surge in the state’s salary and pension obligations from N250million in November 2011 to N600million monthly now”, he clarified.
The Commissioner said that the recent payment of salary, pension and gratuity to people in the state was not a panic measure and not because of the coming election, but mainly on prudent management of the lean resources of the state.
”The opposition mainly the PDP has nothing to say than to lie about the finance of the state. The party is known for causing confusion, so the motive of its crying. The Debt Management Office is a federal government agency and it has come out openly to clear Osun State of having debt beyond its capacity. The total debt of the state is N39 billion including the bond which has delayed for two years now”, he pointed out.
Bolorunduro contended that the state was in capable hands, adding that the approach approved by the state government for retirees to get their gratuity in ‘first in first out’ was to ensure that the most elderly citizens were taken care of, due to the belief that the elderly would have retired first.