Friday 14 June 2024

Gov. Adeleke, how are you spending Osun money?..... By Adebayo Adedeji

There is no better time to be the governor of Osun State than now when the revenue accruing to the state comes in big leap. The revenue record of Osun up to the end of March 2024 ( first quarter) shows almost N300bn has accrued to the state. This was IGR, grants and federal allocations to both the state government and the 30LGAs in the state. Since inception and up to the end of the first quarter of 2024, the total federal allocation alone that has come the way of the administration of Senator Ademola Adeleke is N212bn. But despite this huge revenue, there is little or nothing to show for it as key sectors of the economy suffer neglect. According to the budget performance Q1 2024, zero naira was allocated to capital project in the agricultural sector. Just as only N246m, of the N2.7bn, was released for sports and special needs.

Even the attention being given to the welfare of the public workers, which is the sing-song of this administration, is cosmetic as what has been extended to the state civil servants does not commensurate with the enormous income received thus far.

Each time Governor Adeleke is pressured by the good-spirited citizens to account for the massive allocation due his government, he is always quick to excuse that payment of salary and wages, most especially the half-salary arrears, is draining resources of the state. Meanwhile, checks on the financial books of the state indicate that only N23.7bn went into payment of salary and wages in 2023. This includes the N3.5bn that went into payment of the much touted half-salary arrears. This was despite  N79bn federal allocation that came to the state government alone. 

If only N23.5bn was what the talkative government of Adeleke had to pay to civil servants in 2023, then what is its bragging right? In 2020 during the COVID-19 when world's economies were strongly challenged and federal allocation to states was nothing to write home about, the government of ex-Governor Adegboyega Oyetola committed N21.4bn to settle and salary and wages. It is instructive to highlight that the federal allocation to the state government of Osun at the time was measly N30.6bn. 

Of the N30.6bn federal allocation, the government of Oyetola also paid N2.9bn to cover Social Benefits ( ie Gratuity and Pension) and N6.4bn for Social Contribution (i.e NHIS Contribution, pension contribution, employees compensation and group life insurance), totaling N30.7bn going to the active and retired workers in 2020.

If the government of Adeleke is reluctant to adequately fund the critical sectors of our economy like Agriculture, sports and youth affairs and is usually excited to fund department that concerns the state governor, then it is safe to conclude that the regime we have in Abeere is a self-serving one. 

It is disheartening to note that of the N300bn that has come to the government of Senator Adeleke since November 2022, N21bn of it, representing about 7%, went to the office of the governor for food, owanbe and other inanities, while crumbs were thrown at the chest of the hard-working but helpless civil servants.

Is this a fair arrangement?

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