he Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday said his administration has lived within its means, trying at all times to fulfil government’s financial obligation to workers.
This was even as the returned Speaker of Osun State, Hon. Najeem Salaam, called on the state workers to show understanding by returning to work as the government is working round the clock to clear the salary backlog.
The governor made this disclosure in his address titled: “We shall overcome,” during the inauguration of the 6th Osun State House of Assembly at the House of Assembly Complex in Osogbo.
He pointed out that his administration has in no way exposed the state unnecessarily, contrary to the claims of some people painting the present administration as financially reckless.
Aregbesola added that the present administration will stop at nothing to ensure that the people of the state enjoy life abundantly like they have been doing ever since he took the mantle of leadership of the state.
According to him: “Problem began in 2012 when our expenditure increased as a result of the hike in minimum wage. This was when we applied the increase to junior workers only. Then, our total emoluments rose to N2.7 billion from the N1.4 billion that I met in November 2010.
“By December of that year, it hit N3.5 billion. At the same period, our statutory allocation increased marginally from N2.1 billion to N2.5 billion. By July of 2013, our total emoluments hit N4 billion while our statutory allocation was N2.1 billion. By then we had extended the increase to other workers.
“The summary of five years reveal that in the two months of 2010, we received a net allocation of N4.2 billion and paid a total emoluments of N3.6 billion. This left us with a net gain of N573 million from our statutory allocation.
“In 2011 also, we got N29.9 billion allocation and spent N25.8 billion on emoluments with a net gain of N4 billion. However, in 2012, we got N28.4 billion and expended N31.6 billion on emoluments.
“This left us, for the first time, with a deficit of N3.2 billion. The following year, 2013, our statutory allocation had dropped to N26.4 billion while our emoluments rose to N36.9 billion.
“This gave us a whopping N10.4 billion deficit. In 2014, our statutory allocation fell further to N19.3 billion and by which time we were already defaulting on some of our obligations on emoluments, which had also dropped to N22.4 billion, but still left us with a deficit of N3 billion.
“In summary, between November 2010 and December 2014, we got a total statutory allocation of N108.3 billion and our expenditure on emoluments was N120.4 billion. It left us with a total deficit of N12 billion.”
Aregbesola added that aside from expenditure on salaries, if other emoluments are to be included, the total recurrent expenditure will be N206 billion and statutory allocation N108.3 billion.
He also noted that adding other accruals from Abuja, it will add up to N176.5 billion, leaving the state with a deficit of almost N30 billion.
He said: “Even when we add our internally generated revenue, we were still only able to muster N204 billion and still short by N2 billion. It simply means that all our earning from all sources between 2010 and 2014 could not carry our recurrent expenditure.”
Speaking earlier, the Speaker, who was re-elected for a second term in the House, appealed to workers to end their industrial action in the interest of the state.
Hon. Salam disclosed that state government is working assiduously to make sure quickly end the almost six months old salary impasse.
He lamented that the salary delay was occasioned by the reversal in the fortune of the financial allocation accruable to the state from the federal allocation.
He said: “Today, the current state of things in Osun was not the making of the state government but as a result of the economic downturn that hit the nation in general.
“The delay in salary will soon be resolved and our state’s economy return to its vibrant part. So, I can assure you that the Governor is working round the clock to bring salary impasse to an end.
“I therefore, call on our able workers to please end the current strike they embark on in the interest of our state and people.”