James Sowole in Akure
Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, yesterday slammed civil servants in the state, describing them as “selfish” and “ungrateful.”
The governor’s comment may not be unconnected to the ultimatum given by the organised labour in the state asking governor to start payment of the arrears of salaries or be ready to face industrial action.
Akeredolu lashed out at the workers during the presentation of cheques for the payment of compensation to owners of properties affected by the construction of roads in the state.
He said the present administration had been making efforts in prioritising workers’ welfare since the administration came on board.
Akeredolu said his administration had been able to put in place some life-changing projects in the state, despite the lean resources while the welfare of public servants have also been given its pride of place.
“Since I came into office, I have paid your salary arrears, yet our people are both ungrateful and selfish. Since we came into office we are not owing even a month’s salary. Not one single month.
“Somebody was in office and did not pay your salaries and leave allowances, but we have paid and even promoted you and people still think we have done nothing.
“l can tell you that I agree that we have not done nothing; I know it that that is how life is – people are both selfish and ungrateful.
“In terms of welfare of workers in this state, we have done our best. No state has done better than us because we believe a worker deserves his pay.
“We pay people who are less than five per cent of the population of the state and they take 90 per cent of the income. The revenue that comes to this state 90 per cent of it goes to less than five per cent.
“We are up-to-date in the payment of salaries and pensions; all officers who are due for promotion have been duly served, the 2017 leave bonuses have been paid while some workers have equally enjoyed vehicles loans”, he said.
However, Akeredolu promised to offset all outstanding arrears of workers’ salaries in the state before the end of the week.
“The Paris Club refund due to Ondo State has been received and consultation with the leaders of the workers is ongoing on how best to balance the interest of all stakeholders in the disbursement of the fund and before the end of this week we will clear all arrears and outstanding”, he said.
The governor disclosed that about N402.5million would be paid to owners of structures affected by the construction of roads across the state.