Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu on Wednesday lamented a situation where 90 per cent of N5b monthly allocations of the state is being expended on salaries, pension and other worker’s allowances.
He noted that it would be difficult to meet other obligations such as employment of more primary school teachers, construction of roads, classrooms and other infrastructural projects.
The governor made the declaration at Owode-Obaile in Akure North local government area of the state during the inauguration of NULGE Ultra-modern Resort constructed by the Ondo State leadership of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).
Akeredolu expressed satisfaction with the state NULGE President, Dr Olubunmi Eniayewu and his team for initiating projects that had direct positive impacts on local government workers across the state.
He noted that the present administration had been regularly releasing N200m to offset backlog of gratuities of retired public servants and payment of car loan for workers at both state and local government levels.
Akeredolu, justifying his statement over his administration’s inability to pay workers’ leave allowance until when the State is buoyant which prompted a protest at this year’s May Day celebration in Akure on Tuesday,said it was not a big deal because it was a fundamental human right of every Nigerian to protest or disagree with government’s decision.
He however said he would continue to act in the overall best interest of the state.
The governor said “we earn about N5b every month, N4b goes for salaries, allowances, how do we address the problems of shortage of teachers in primary schools, how do we build classrooms, how do we provide transformers for communities without light, majority want their roads constructed. The current state of affairs is depressing”.
“It is a tragic irony that some people now refer to our state as a civil service enclave where governance has been reduced, virtually, to payment of salaries, allowances, grants and subventions”, He said
Akeredolu pointed out that “so, you can shout, you can protest, is your fundamental human right, you can remain in sun for days but I will not change my style in the interest of the majority. We are paying salaries regularly, workers must not be selfish, allow us to take care of other people in the state”.
The Nation reports that he maintained that out of over Six million people in the state,workers constituted only two percent,stressing that it would be unreasonable to spend the whole state monthly allocation to take care of workers at the expense of other stakeholders.