By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has declared that
there are signs that the present economic recession rocking the country would come to an end by June this year.
The governor dropped this hint while speaking at an interdenominational thanksgiving session to herald 2017 activities held at the Government Secretariat, Osogbo.
He maintained that the country is presently getting over the hardships, saying, “we are grateful that we are getting over our hardships which is an indication that the new year would be better”.
Governor Aregbesola disclosed that Osun State Government paid N14.2bn to workers in less than two weeks to the end of December 2016.
According to him,the ability of the state government to pay the workers salaries from September, October, November and December in less than a record two weeks period was a huge relief,saying,with what befell the state before the close of 2015, it was gratifying that it bounced back in what can now be felt as relief from the hardship of last year.
He pointed out that it was in September 2014 that he had to call on workers to deliberate on whether the state should opt for staff reduction or payment of salaries due to available resources at that time and that in July 2015, the new Federal Government listened to some of the solutions proffered to the national revenue crisis.
“I knew that with the magnitude of the economic crisis facing Nigeria, it would have been suicidal to expend the whole bailout loan at once without saving a portion of it which eventually bailed us out till around February”he said.
Governor Aregbesola added that when the state got N34.9bn bail out loan in 2015, there were controversies on how to disburse the funds as some people insisted that the whole funds should be spent at once which necessitated the constitution of the state’s Revenue Apportionment Committee headed by labour veteran, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu which made it possible for the state to pay salaries till February 2016.
Speaking further, Governor Aregbesola said that the arrival of the Paris Club deductions refunds of N11.7bn to Osun state had brought some relief adding that efforts should be intensified towards ensuring self-sustenance.
While lauding workers in the state for showing understanding to the state government, Governor Aregbesola urged others in the state to emulate the civil servants,saying“LAUTECH lecturers have insisted they would not cooperate with the government despite their knowledge of the economic conditions we face. We appeal to them to accept our fate at the moment for the sake of the students’ future.”
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.