The Ondo State government has cleared the air over the disbursement of the N6.38billion Paris Club Refund released to it.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Special Duties & Strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale, said that contrary to a claim in some quarters that the administration got N7.03billion, the state government got N6.38billion for the payment of September 2016 salary arrears and execution of capital projects.
Odebowale said that there had been no major administrative decision taken on workers’ welfare without due consultations with the leadership of the labour union.
According to him, it was shocking that those who participated in the series of meetings held on the issue concerning the payment of salary arrears could turn around to misinform members of the public after all the facts had been laid bare to them.
He said: “It is on record that some states of the federation allocated 50% of the total refund to offset salaries and the remaining 50% for capital projects. Ondo State has agreed to allocate 75% of the total sum to pay pensioners in full, offset part of the gratuities owed retirees, release subventions to institutions and parastatals and to pay 80% of the September salary.
“The remaining 25% is for capital projects. It is rather disturbing to note that those who claim to serve the public will insist that the government should reserve nothing for the generality of the people who constitute over 95% of the populace.”
The statement asked members of the public, especially workers, to disregard the distorted information and reiterated his administration’s earlier promise to place their welfare above all other considerations.
While the state government acknowledged the support of the workers, it asked them to always disregard unverifiable information.
The government assured the civil servants that their welfare would be the directive principle of state policy under its watch.
The statement said: “The allegiance of this government is to them and not a select few. No worker should be afraid of persecution in this dispensation. No one will, however, enjoy unmerited privileges
“No amount of blackmail can stampede the current administration to take decisions which will be inimical to the interests of the generality of the people who are not in the employ of the government.”