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Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has said the state government will pay salary only to workers not on strike from the little monthly allocation that came from Abuja.
He also opined that embarking on strike was not the solution to the poor resources available to the government that had led to irregular payment of salary in the last few months.
?The governor stated this while featuring on an interview programme on the state-owned radio and television stations in Ado Ekiti.
The organised labour on Thursday began an indefinite strike to press home the demand for the outstanding five months salaries of workers among other issues.
Fayose complained that the state was handicapped by the continuous slide in statutory allocations coming to the state and the general economic recession in the country.
“For the April allocation shared in May, we got N752m, while our wage bill is N2.6b monthly. The previous month we got a little over N1 billion and that has been the trend since last year. We have had to combine two monthly allocations to be able to pay a month salary, but since the beginning of this year, it is that three allocations are not even enough to pay a month salary.
“When you compare what we got from January to May 2015 and what we got in the same period this year, we have a shortfall of over N6 billion. ?Some are talking about our internally generated revenue, there is nothing to hide. All the records are there for all to see and I have always told labour leaders to go and verify. The highest we have recorded is N302 million a month. There was a month we had N181 million.
“Since I assumed office, every month the allocation paper comes from Abuja, a committee made up of labour leaders and other stakeholders has been the one sharing whatever comes among all sectors. If I am not hiding anything from labour leaders and workers, I expect them to understand. I feel their pain, but there is limit to what I can do in this type of situation.
“Workers at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital under the auspices of JOHESU have written that they are not on strike and people like that will be paid from what came from Abuja. Since I have no power to stop workers from going on strike, I wish them well, but we need to understand what the situation is like.
“They cannot say that I have not consistently been alerting Nigerians since late last year that a time like this is coming. In fact, the next allocation may be smaller than the one we are complaining about now,” he stated.
The governor claimed the economic situation of th?e state became worse by the indiscriminate borrowing the immediate past administration of Dr. Kayode Fayemi embarked upon.
“The N25bn they raised from the capital market, the nearly N30bn commercial loans, the UBEC, water scheme, fertilizer and other loans they incurred, led to the deduction of about N1b from our allocations monthly. Where were the labour and their leaders when t?hey were borrowing all these monies? I reiterate again that no administration should be allowed to borrow beyond its tenure,” he added.
On the staff audit conducted by the government last year, he stated that 315 ghost workers were detected through the exercise and that the report would soon be made public.