The Ondo State Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on Thursday, reiterated the importance of payment of workers salaries to the present administration.
Akeredolu made this known during the submission of report of Committee on the arrears of salaries of public servants, at the Governor’s office in Akure.
He said the present administration did not have any other option but to pay salaries.
The Governor also said the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), needed to be increased very soon to tackle the salary arrears.
“Before we present our budget and after presentation, I will have to address the workers to let them know that it’s not possible to use all our money to pay salaries.
“We have said this many times, we must be prepared to pay sacrifices because we don’t borrow money to pay salaries, something must be done.
“I thank the people for their efforts and resilence. I know it’s not easy, but it’s also getting increasingly difficult for the government too, but whatever we do, we will try not to owe salaries,” he said.
The Governor further expressed hope that the workers would waive the outstanding salary arrears as part of contributions to development.
“If they meet and say they waive two months, we will be glad bit if they insist in having the full arrears, we thank them and will look for ways of paying.
“The government will continue to try and make sure we don’t owe them salaries,” he said.
Earlier, the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, said the salary arrears owed workers by the previous administration amounted to ₦38.57 billion.
“This is not inclusive of the ₦41.5 billion representing outstanding gratuities.
“We came in February 24th, we paid February, March, April salaries and also one month out of the 6 month salaries owed by the past government.
“Right now, what is outstanding is #34.5b which is like i said, outside the #41.5b representing outstanding gratuities across the board. What the government is owing now is #34.5b, representing 5months salaries as against the 6 months we met on board”, he explained.
He, however, commended the governor for promising to offset the salaries as soon as money was available in the State.
The Committee was inaugurated on March 7 to deliberate and report on ways of offsetting seven months salary arrears owed by the previous administration.