The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State has accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola, of “scheming to divert funds from Paris Club deductions” paid to the state recently and meant to offset workers’ arrears of salaries and pensions.
The opposition party in a statement by its spokesman in the state, Prince Diran Odeyemi, said that rather than pay workers’ full salaries, Governor Aregbesola opted for half pay for those at top echelon of the service and 75% for others.
Osun State recently announced receipt of over 11 billion Naira being the state’s share of the over-deducted funds from the state in repayment of debt owed Paris Club.
The party claimed that out of all states in the country that got over deductions repayment, only Osun is not yet paying workers’ salaries in full and queried continuous payment of half salaries by the government even with hard-biting economic realities in the country.
It claimed that “the mode of payment of salaries being adopted for the utilisation of the over 11 billion Naira funds got by Aregbesola was similar to how he mishandled the over 34 billion he got as bailout in September last year”.
“Kogi and Plateau that got refunds of over deductions have subsequently announced that all outstanding workers’ salaries and pensions should be paid and they have been paid”
“Why is Osun’s case different? Aregbesola has been employing all manners of underhand tactics just to ensure bulk of the funds given to him is diverted again. We got hint this would happen and advised the federal government to pay workers directly.
“With this development, we have been vindicated. Osun PDP demand urgent intervention of all relevant agencies of federal government to ensure fund meant for salaries is not diverted again. We also urge the Senate to speed up the probe of utilisation of bailout funds got by Aregbesola last year and the admission that the sum of three millions Naira is still being kept in some Banks.
“The probe should be completed on time to serve as deterrent. Within two days, after the show of shame called probe by the state lawmakers, three billion Naira was declared as left-over of 34 billion Naira bailout. Strangely, two days later, the figure was refuted and the left over was put at three million Naira. We believe with the probe panel of the Senate due in the state soon, truth will be unveiled,” the party stated.
Meanwhile, the Osun State government had on Friday confirmed the receipt of the over 11 billion Naira fund.
The government had said that based on the received fund, the Governor had approved an upward review of the existing salaries and pensions payment structure with the aim of further easing the financial strains foisted on the workers and pensioners as a result of the national economic challenge the country has faced in recent times.
The statement further gave a breakdown of how payments would be made, with the government saying the decision was reached after exhaustive deliberations by the Revenue Apportionment Committee which comprises representatives of workers and the government, under the leadership of Comrade Hassan Sumonu.