Bailout Not Solution, Says Osun Assembly Chief Whip

Inspection Tour to the Ongoing High School 4The concern of the Osun State government is how to sustain payment of salary after using the bailout to clear salary arrears, Chief Whip of the House of Assembly, Oladoyin Bamisayemi-Folorunso, has said.

Folorunso said the state will be back to square one because its monthly allocation of N1.6 billion falls short of the N3.6 billion monthly wages.

He spoke yesterday on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme.

He said Governor Rauf Aregbesola had been holding consultation with stakeholders, including labour unions, traditional rulers and opinion leaders, on the way forward. “This is the moment of clarity for the government and the workers. The present wage bill of N3.6 billion is unsustainable,” he said.

The lawmaker said payment of the salary arrears would start today. “I can assure you the workers will start receiving their pay in the next 24 hours. The rumour that the bailout had been diverted is not true; the money is intact.

“Our concern is that after the bailout, what next? That was why the state government had been brainstorming with the stakeholders. The state’s economy can’t sustain six tertiary institutions. That is why all of us should come together and face the reality. It is either we sacrifice or we continue to face the problem of salary arrears.”

On Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Bamisayemi-Folorunso said the people are not ready to pay tax. The government introduced a flat rate of N1, 500 per adult, which sparked off protest. He said given the state of finance, government may have to rationalise its work force because, according to him, the state revenue could not sustain the current 35,000 workforce.

But tertiary institution workers said they will not accept a salary cut. They insisted that their full salary, including allowances, should be paid since the bailout was meant for that. They advised the government to stop pension deduction because the previous deduction was last remitted to the pension firms last September.