Saturday 13 April 2024

Osun workers lambast Kolapo Alimi for denying Aregbesola over half-salary, pension arrears.... • Praise gov't for confirming non-payment of March wage.... • Challenge it on N300bn revenue, staff strength, wage bill... By Adekunle Alao

Workers in the employment of the Osun State Government have praised the state government for confirming their claim that the March wage award to workers and pensioners in the state had not been paid.

This is just as they condemned Mr Kolapo Alimi, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, for distancing himself from Ogbeni Rauf Ogbeni whose government owed 30 months half-salary.

The workers in a statement signed by Comrade Gabriel Adeoye, Organising Secretary of the Osun Workers Union ( OWU) in response to the rebuttal circulated by Alimi, said the information commissioner has confirmed, by denying the Aregbesola government he served for eight years, that he is a desperate politician who can forfeit his honour in order to keep his pot of soup.

In the words of Adeoye, "It is disheartening that the ill-prepared commissioner for information in the state, Oluomo Kolapo Alimi, would in his puerile attempt to defend the government of the day castigate his political mentor, benefactor and the man who brought him to political limelight, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for owing 30 months half salary and leaving 'humongous N76bn pension and wage-related debt' for the state."

The union explained that the half-salary regime was implemented in Osun state from June 2015 until 2018 when the government of Aregbesola came to an end.

He added that contrary to the lies of the current government, only workers on level 13 and above received half salary while those on level 8 to 12 received 75% of their salary.

He said just 20-25 % of the entire workforce was affected by the modulated salary and given the current increased revenue to the state, which is about N300bn, the state should have cleared the 30 months half-salary rather than the piecemeal and staggered payment adopted by the government.

"If Governor Adeleke has been prudent with the state resources, the story of the half-salary should have been a thing of the past because it would have been cleared off. 

"Again, it is unexplainable that the state government is fabricating cock and bull story to explain why wage award for the month of March has not been paid. How many workers are on the state's payroll? How much does the government pay to workers every month? Where is our money going to? How much has the state government committed in paying the small half-salary it usually lays claims to?

"Abia state government under Alex Otti cleared all the pension arrears to over 12,000 retirees in just 11 months in office. He did this following the removal of fuel subsidy which resulted to increased federal allocation to the state. Why can't Governor Adeleke emulate Otti and other governors who are using increased allocation to work for the people," Adeoye queried.

He appealed to the state government to settle the unpaid palliative wage  without further delay before the workers and pensioners run out of patience.

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