Saturday 30 December 2023

Osun 2024 Budget: Adeleke, SSG to Spend N11b on Meals, Entertainment..... • Reduce Agric Budget to N3.7b..... • No Wage Award Provision for UNIOSUN, Esa-Oke Poly, Others.... By Adebayo Adedeji


The hope of Osun citizens to witness decency and moderacy in the public spending of officials of their government was again dashed yesterday when Governor Ademola Adeleke signed into law the 2024 Appropriation Bill with humongous N11billion budgeted to cover the meal, entertainment and luxury lifestyles of Governor Adeleke and his kitchen cabinet.

The budget, which many have described as insensitive and irresponsible, is coming at a time the state government has reduced the allocation to a key sector like Agriculture.

In the 2024 budget, Agriculture was voted N3.7billion, a sharp contrast to the N5billion voted to the sector in the current year by Ex-Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.

The budget also casts doubts on the touted narrative of the state government to implement the N15,000 Wage Award for all civil servants as Personnel Cost for staff of the Osun State College of Technology, Esa-oke, for instance, was reduced by N300million from the 2023 budget while that of UNIOSUN, Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, and College of Education, Ila, remains almost the same, suggesting that the state government has no plan to sustain the N15,000 palliative wage to workers in these identified institutions.

Speaking to this reporter on the development, a socio-politico commentator and researcher at the Osun State University, Dr Gabriel Niniola expressed his displeasure, describing the appropriation as hopeless.

According to Niniola, " There is no responsible leader that would reduce allocation meant for Agriculture and devote it to make the governor and his associates happy. At this period of our national life when governments all of over the country are doing everything to scale down on hunger and food scarcity, Osun state government is paying lip service to food production revolution. 

"At a time Lagos, Ondo and other states in Nigeria are paying N35,000 Wage Award to civil servants and giving food palliative to their citizens, Osun state which is appealing to workers to accept N15,000 peanuts as palliative wage, is voting over N12billion for Office of the Governor and his SSG. This is unfortunate and unacceptable. This backward-thinking document should be revisited to reflect common-sense and today's reality," he thundered.

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