The Government of Osun on Wednesday commenced the payment of outstanding salaries to workers in the state.
The Chairman of the Osun Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Jacob Adekomi while addressing journalists after a meeting with representative of government on the disbursement of bailout loan for workers salary at the Government House in Osogbo, commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for disbursing the bailout loan for the payment of backlog of workers salaries.
Adekomi stated that there was no disagreement between Labour and government on whether the bailout loan will not be used to pay workers salaries as speculated in some quarters.
He stressed that, labour all this while was sure that the fund was intact but was meeting with government on the modalities of how it will be disbursed based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of 13th July, 2015 entered into with government by labour.
Speaking on the MOU between government and the committee inaugurated on disbursement of bailout loan, the NLC boss said the funds to be disbursed will cover the payment of outstanding salaries for the month of January to June.
According to him, “In order to ensure sustainability of payment of salaries in the state of Osun, the first disbursement from the bailout loan should cover the payment of outstanding September and December 2014 deductions, balance of January and February salaries and full payment of March, April and May 2015 salaries for state government workers.
“That workers in the employment of Local government and Primary school teachers be paid their first instalment out of the bailout loan to cover the payment of balance of March and April, 2015 salaries as well as full payment of May and June, 2015 salaries.
“That state pensioners be paid balance of December, 2014 as well as January, February and March 2015 pensions while their counterparts in the Local Government and primary schools be paid up to June 2015.” Adekomi emphasised.
The NLC however noted that subsequent payment of salaries will be paid with available net revenue from the Federation Accounts and Internally Generated Revenue will be apportioned in a way to take care of salaries, pensions and expenditure required to run government.
He pointed out that labour has agreed to work with government to increase IGR so as to increase the available revenue to pay salaries and other government expenditure.
Also, the Chief-of-staff to Governor Aregbesola, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, who led government delegation stated that government is working for the interest of workers, saying the bailout loan is just once, hence the need for government to properly disburse it.
Oyetola described the earlier insinuations by opposition that the state governor has been mobilising contractors back to work from the bailout loan as false and unwarranted.
The Chief-of- staff stated that contractors getting back to construction site is as a result of the proper use of the SUKUK bond of the state, saying people of the state should be full of praises to the governor for being committed to the development of Osun.
Oyetola pointed out that Osun is not the only state of the Federation that has got her share of the bailout loan, saying most of the states have not even disbursed the said loan to workers.
He said, “the government of Osun is working for the interest of workers, most states that have taken the bailout loan have not disbursed it. So, there is nothing special about Osun taking its time before properly disbursing it.
“What we have done was to align with workers who asked that the number of actual workers be ascertained through verification. That is what we have just concluded. We must consider what will happen and what to do after this disbursement.
“We want to be sure that people we are paying are real workers that are still in service. We must also have the understanding that after the disbursement of the bailout loan, whatever remains from the federal allocation and IGR will be used to pay workers,” the Chief-of-Staff told journalists.