James Sowole in Akure
The Ondo State Government Tuesday clarified the resolution reached with labour leaders on the payment of the 20 per cent balance of the 20 per cent September 2016 salary, saying government did not promise to pay by the end of August.
The government in a statement, said it would only pay when the resources are available declaring that “government cannot borrow to pay salaries.”
In a statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hon Ifedayo Abegunde, the government maintained that due consideration was given to equity and fairness before the 80 percent of the outstanding September 2016 salary arrears from the second tranche of the Paris Club refund was paid.
He noted that the payment was not in error.
Both the leaders of the organised labour and the representatives of the state government led by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, on Monday resolved on the payment of the remaining 20 percent of the outstanding salary.
The government denied promising to pay the workers the remaining 20 per cent by August ending against the report in the social media.
While denying the social media report on the last meeting with the labour leaders, the state government said the report was not the true picture of what was discussed in the closed door meeting held with the organised labour .
The statement read: “The government emphasised that it would continue to make the payment of salaries of workers its priority. The government will not shirk its responsibility to the good people of Ondo State, both in the public and private sectors as this administration is irrevocably committed to its mandate.
“In response to the request of the labour that the outstanding 20 per cent be paid before the end of August, 2017, it was made abundantly clear that the government would pay the 20 percent when it had the resources as it would not borrow money to pay salaries.”
The government called on the labour unions to always avoid statements and actions that may overheat the matter.
Flooding: States, Stakeholders Should Take Proactive Measures, Says Saraki
As the rainy season has intensified across the country, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has called on states across the federation to take proactive measures to mitigate against and minimise the risk of flooding in their areas.
In a message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, Saraki stated that recent reports show that as many as 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states are at risk for flooding due to inadequate town-planning, construction oversights and obstructed drainage systems.
“We have to take this issue of flooding very seriously,” the Senate President said, adding: “God has blessed Nigeria in so many ways. We are not like many other nations that experience cataclysmic natural disasters that leave considerable destruction.
“This issue of flooding is something that with proper planning and proactive steps, we can minimise and mitigate against the loss of lives and damage to property. What we need to do is for all stakeholders — by this I mean governments across all levels, town planning councils and our emergency management agencies — to meet to discuss how we can put in place long-term strategies to stop these floods so that we can end this fire-brigade approach of dealing with crisis situation,” he stated.
The Senate President also listed some immediate steps that States across the federation need to take to reduce flooding.
He said: “Our state governments need to work with town-planners to identify areas that are at risk for flooding. Additionally, we need to immediately put in place both sensitization and punitive measures to ensure that people are not blocking our drainage systems. When these drainage systems are blocked — especially in urban centers — the water begins to accumulate during heavy rains,” he stated.
Saraki also called for a comprehensive re-evaluation of the nation’s dams while adding that this re-evaluation by experts would allow the country to know which of our dams — specifically those that are located close to residential areas — are channeling water into towns.
“Right now, we cannot leave any stone unturned,” he said, “We must immediately look into our own man-made structures. We have to identify which of our dams and other infrastructure are contributing to the frequency of flood and work out strategies to tone down their negative impact.
“The Senate, through our oversight powers, will continue to work to ensure that our town planning laws are updated, and we will continue to support the executive in every way possible to enforce the codes and ensure that states that are at risk do not turn into disaster zones,’ Saraki stated.