Ekiti has money to pay salaries, says ex-finance commissioner

Fayose

Fayose

• Labour leaders caution Fayose against blackmail
A former Commissioner for Finance in Ekiti State, Mr. Dapo Kolawole, has blamed Governor Fayose for the lingering economic crisis in the state.

Kolawole, who was commissioner for finance in the state between 2010 and 2014, said if the state’s resources were properly managed, the state would not be in the present economic mess.

The former commissioner who spoke with journalists in Abuja yesterday, said despite the economic downturn in the country, Ekiti State could still afford to pay three months workers salaries, thereby reducing the economic crisis that has crippled the state.

Ekiti is owing workers five months salary arrears and several months pensions.Meanwhile, workers in the state yesterday said no amount of blackmail leveled against their leaders by the state government would deter them from fighting for the payment of five months salaries and other entitlements owed them by the Governor Ayodele Fayose-led government.

The labour leaders yesterday warned Governor Fayose against blackmailing them, describing as “unfortunate” and misleading, his comment alleging that they were fighting the government over low sitting allowance being paid to them as members of the allocation sharing committee.

They vowed to continue the strike until government pays the five months salaries and entitlements, describing the allegation as a blackmail that would not bring solutions to the industrial action that began on May 24 this year.

They spoke yesterday while commencing a three-day fasting and prayers to seek God’s intervention in the salary crisis at the secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Ado Ekiti.

The prayer session was coordinated by the Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Oluropo Olayemi, its Vice Chairman, Pastor Olugbenga Adeniyi, Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, Sola Adigun and Chairman, Community Health Extension Workers, Idowu Fajulugbe.

The NLC Chairman in the state, Ade Adesanmi, said it was quite unfortunate that Fayose is making allegations against them on state television, even when he knew that the entire workforce had displayed immense understanding about the state’s finances since assumption of office.

Kolawole said the state could still pay the salaries of workers from money the government had received in form of refunds and palliatives in the last few months, if the administration in the state was sincere.

The former commissioner challenged Fayose to explain why the state is owing local council workers, despite the fact that council fund comes directly from the federation account.

He also asked the governor to explain to Ekiti indigenes what happened to the Federal Government’s refund on federal roads.The Ekiti State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has, meanwhile accused the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) of planning to cause mayhem in Ado Ekiti, in what they termed as a solidarity protest in support of workers who are on industrial action in the state.



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