The Governor of Ondo state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, on Thursday led his team to clean up the city of Akure, Ondo state capital.
This move became necessary following an industrial action embarked upon by the state workers which has left heaps of refuse along commercial areas within the city.
The Ondo workers had last week Wednesday embarked on strike to an indefinite strike to press for the payment of their salaries. The development brought about heaps of refuse in the state capital.
Worried by the heaps of refuse littering Akure metropolis, Governor Mimiko led some state executive members to clean up the city. The team stopped at the ijomu junction on Oba Adesida road in Akure to carry out the cleaning exercise.
Addressing traders, governor Mimiko said he would not open his eyes and allow outbreak of diseases.
“The heaps of refuse as a result of the strike has clearly shown that government spends a lot in making the state clean and healthy for the people.
I can assure you that this administration will always do its best to ensure healthy environment irrespective of the ongoing strike by workers”. Mimiko said.
He said he had directed those in charge of cleaning the streets to go back to duty as they are not civil servants and should not be affected by the strike.
In the same news, the governor has said the inability of government to pay salaries was due to national economic crunch.
Mimiko said this while addressing workers at government house ground immediately after the cleaning exercise.
The governor said if the Federal government pays the reimbursement of N9.5M expended on road projects and about $100M of excess deduction of Paris Club debt, the state will be capable of settling workers wages.
His words; “The Federal government is owing us. If they pay all they are owing us, we won’t owe any arrears. We will even have a buffer to keep to a little and keep augmenting.
“When we did reconciliation on Paris club debt settlement, we observed that the Federal government over deducted our money. What was deducted from our money was more than our share of the Paris club debt. What was deducted from Ondo state fund was over $100m-excess deduction.
“Also, The federal government had come for verification of roads we built on its behalf and our own share should be N9billion. We have clamoured for the payment of these funds to pay our workers because our people are suffering. We hope the Federal government yields to our call since they have given us their word”
He said the non payment of salary was not peculiar to the state as about 30 state of the federation are currently owing.
Dr. Mimiko who said he feels the pains of the workers occasioned by the non payment of salary assured that he would do everything humanly possible to pay.
While fielding question from a worker who inquired to know the wage bill of political appointees and if also they have not been paid for months, the governor said the wage bill of political appointees stands at N84M and none of the workers are ever paid ahead of civil servants.
He appealed to the striking workers to call off the strike in the interest of the generality of the people and the state development.
Meanwhile, the council of Ondo state Obas and Traditional rulers are currently meeting with labour leaders in Akure with a view to ending the ongoing strike.
The meeting at the instance of the Council chairman and Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Adesimbo Kiladejo, is also being attended by his colleagues like the Deji of Akure and the Olukare of Ikare, Oba Akadiri Momoh.
Labour on the other hand is being represented by chairman of the joint Negotiating Council, Sunday Adeleye, the NLC Chairman, Bosede Daramola, his TUC counterpart, Soladoye Ekundayo and chairmen and secretaries of all affiliate unions.