The Ogun State government says it has commenced the disbursement of 65 per cent of the last tranche of the Paris Club Refund to pay backlogs of cooperative deductions, gratuity, severance and furniture allowance of its workforce.
Commissioner for Finance in the state, Mr Adewale Oshinowo, explained in a statement on Tuesday that this was 15 per cent above the threshold set by the Federal Government on the disbursement of refund to workers. He disclosed that the state government received the sum of N17.3 billion from the Federal Government, being its last tranche of the Paris Club Refund.
“In line with the commitment of the Ibikunle Amosun administration to the welfare of workers in the state, their payment is being made a priority,” Oshinowo said.
“Therefore, with immediate effect, the sum of N11.8 billion from the refund will be expended on the workforce, including the local government while the balance of N5.5 billion will go into social services for the benefit of the entire indigenes of the state.”
The commissioner recalled that the state government had pledged to offset the entitlements of workers and also scale up the infrastructural development of the state during a town hall meeting held recently in the state. He stressed that development was a fulfilment of the promise made to stakeholders across the 236 wards of the state.
Oshinowo added, “The Ibikunle Amosun-led administration places a high premium on the welfare of its worker. This informed its decision to increase the salaries of workers in 2012, which doubled the monthly wage bill.”
“It is also a testament that this government pays the highest salaries in the entire federation and has consistently paid workers’ salaries as due and when due,” he noted.
“This latest payment will no doubt boost the morale of the public service workforce and enhance its productivity.”
The commissioner, who described the civil service as the engine room of government, promised that the state government would clear all other arrears once the finances of the state returned on an even keel.