A Lagos based human rights and development advocacy group, Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA, has given knocks and kudos to South-West states over their expenditure of the federal allocations given to them.
Among the states reviewed are the Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Lagos, Ekiti and Ogun states.
The report which focused on Status of Salary Payment in the South West, gave a pass mark to Lagos and Ogun for not owing any month arrears until March 2017. The group further revealed that Oyo, Ekiti and Osun owed Five, Four and One month’s respectively.
However, according to it, the Ondo State Government under Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, received at least N22bn from the Federal Government in monthly allocations for 2016, but refused to pay 8 months salaries to its workers.
This was revealed in the group’s report which it released on Monday in Lagos. In the report, the group alleged that aside federal allocation, the state couldn’t account for the budget support funds it received from the federal ministry of finance and the Paris loan refund, neither are there massive infrastructural development across the state to explain the reason the state’s resources have been frittered away.
Recall the newly elected governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu recently ordered the payment of one month salary to the workers.
In the case of Ekiti, the group stated that the government in the state has taken proactive steps to clear workers’ salaries. When the state budget support fund was seized by the coordinating ministry, “the governor stormed the finance house in a braggadocios manner, but all that has failed to get funds for him to pay his workers’ salaries.”
In Osun, the group revealed that through the help of a ‘revenue apportionment committee’, the state has been able to reduce its monthly wage bill from N3.6bn to N1.7bn thus helping the state to pay salaries according to agreement with the state labour unions till January, 2017.
The group further revealed in Oyo that, “the government of Oyo has spoken time and again of its readiness to clear all salary arrears when the revenue of the state improves, however, increment in revenue here means government earnings from the federal government must double.”
“Oyo State government with a monthly wage bill of N5.2bn as at February 2017 owes 6 months salaries and pensions. Before this current accumulation, the state had often asked workers to forfeit their salaries every other month, until it couldn’t pay again.” The group revealed in the report.
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