Governors says its administration inherited debts from the previous one.
The Ogun State Government on Monday ordered the management of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, Ago Iwoye, to effect the immediate payment of the outstanding one month salary arrears owed lecturers of the institution.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun in a statement made available to journalists in Abeokuta, gave the directive and also promised that all other outstanding arrears would be paid without delay.
Signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, the statement noted that the Ibikunle Amosun-led administration inherited salary arrears from the immediate past administration, adding, however, that it had prioritised payment of wages, cleared the backlog and restored normalcy to wages administration.
The government stated that in spite of significant life changing infrastructural development initiatives going on across the state, it does not owe workers’ salaries. It noted that the state was one of the very first to show commitment to paying the new minimum wage in 2011.
The statement added that since its assumption, the Government had committed N1 billion to clear part of the accrued allowances. It said there was also an agreement with all the unions to commit a further N500 million towards the payment of related allowances.
“In the 32 months of our administration, we not only had cleared between 9-11 months of wages arrears left by the last government, the staffers of Olabisi Onabanjo University, and workers everywhere in Ogun State got their salaries. In OOU, some of the backlog of unpaid allowances (as distinct from monthly salary) that is now touted as the reason for the Monday protest action dated back to six to seven years. Since we came on board, Government had committed N1 billion to clear part of the accrued allowances. In addition, there is agreement with all the unions to commit a further N500 million this financial year towards the payment of related allowances”, the statement said.
The governor blamed the current development on the dwindling Federal Allocation and Internally Generated Revenue of the State, affirming that borrowing to pay salaries would be counter-productive to the development of the state.
“The current hiccups began in the middle of 2013 as direct fallout of the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) cash crisis. This is a public knowledge and our esteemed comrades in the ivory tower, OOU, understand the issues well. In spite of the dwindling resources, both from FAAC and IGR receipts, our administration has maintained a disciplined stand against casual borrowings to pay salaries. We believe that borrowing to pay wages to engender temporary industrial and labour peace in the short term will hurt the long term interests of the State,” the governor explained, thanking the lecturers and the entire workforce in the state for their support for the administration.
He asked the lecturers to remain calm and help to rebuild the state.