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The Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, said on Tuesday that his administration had performed creditably well despite its inability to pay its workers in the state for the past seven months.
According to a statement made available to newsmen in Osogbo on Tuesday by his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, governor scored himself high. He spoke during a courtesy visit to him by the Osun Action Strategy and Development Group.
He, however, said he was pained by the inability of his government to pay workers but also sympathised with workers while assuring them that the hardship would soon come to an end.
The statement read, “Despite the financial shortage, even the most virulent critics of this government cannot deny that the administration has performed creditably well.
“This government built roads, schools, supplied students with Opon Imo (Tablets of Knowledge), distributed uniforms to all public students in the state, created welfare programmes for the old and vulnerable people as well as supporting farmers.
“No state has done what Osun did in the area of security, which today has totally checked crimes and other anti-social activities in the state. Huge amount of money was committed to purchasing armoured personnel carrier and ambulances which are strategically located in the state and responding to distress calls round the clock.
“If all the programmes, with huge cost involved, are factored into the accruable revenue of the state, it will be crystal clear why the state is where it is today.”
Describing the situation as an economic tragedy, he said the current misfortune of the nation’s economy remains a gross mishandling by the last administration of the Peoples Democratic Party.
He stated that the unchecked oil theft under the PDP, in which the nation was losing 400, 000 barrels per day, culminated in the drastic reduction of oil price in the international market.
“This price fall has created for the country a tragedy of huge proportion that translated into economic disaster, pains and agony for the workers across the country,” he said.
Aregbesola said the state collected N5bn as monthly allocation in February 2013 but the allocation drastically reduced to a mere N540m in April 2015.
He said further, “As we are trying to find solution to these challenges, we must not also run away from what brought us to this situation.
“For those who think this is an opportunity to pillory us in this economic condition, I pity them. Only God does not fail. We shall overcome; we shall recover from this challenge. I sympathise and feel for the workers. I appeal to them to bear with us as we work assiduously to end this problem. I assure them that the period of agony will soon be over.
“It is disheartening for people to work and such work fails to translate into wages. It is a harrowing experience for both workers and the government.”