Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
The Ogun State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Buruji Kashamu, has promised to restructure and pay all unpaid salaries and deductions of public workers in the state, within 100 days he assumed office.
In a document entitled: “Our Pact with Ogun workers, traditional rulers, MAPOLY, TASCE and Students of Ogun State,” released yesterday to journalists in Abeokuta, the state capital, Kashamu said, Ogun, being a blessed state, there would be no need to plunge the state into a “whopping N103 billion debt profile”.
“Being, a state blessed with abundant human and natural resources, Ogun State should not have been in this situation. That said, my Strategic Economic Management Team has looked at Ogun State finances and come up with a strategic plan to pay up the debts and ensure that going forward, Ogun State will not borrow money for recurrent expenditure.”
Kashamu who is the senator representing Ogun East senatorial district at the National Assembly, said it was imperative for the government and workers to enjoy a smooth working relationship.
“I am deeply saddened and pained seeing many of our hard-working and committed civil/public officers crying, suffering and going through untold hardship due to the diversion of cooperative deductions, denial of leave bonuses and arrears. I want our civil/public officers to know that I stand and empathise with them.
“By the grace of God, if I am elected as the Governor of Ogun State, I shall inaugurate a committee made up of members of my team and representatives of the workers to immediately determine the outstanding amount due to the workers and come up with a mutually acceptable payment schedule, which shall see to the commencement of disbursements within the first 100 days of my administration.
“Going forward, salaries, cooperative deductions, pensions, shall be paid and/or remitted before the end of every month during our tenure in office,” he said.
While speaking on issues bordering on the state’s college of education, also known as Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Kashamu promised to inaugurate a committee to resolve the issues concerning the institution within his first 100 days of assuming office.
“The committee’s terms of reference shall include a diagnostic review of the debts of TASCE and an appreciation of the various challenges militating against the institution with recommendations on how to resolve the challenges facing the institution.
“In line with our global objective of making Ogun State free of recurrent expenditure-related debts and other non-developmental debts, a plan would be put in place with clear milestones for the payment of the debts owed the lecturers and workers of TASCE.
“I promise that the first payment towards offsetting TASCE’s debts shall be done within the first 100 days of our administration,” he said.
Also, on the issue of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Kashamu said, “a committee will be set up to include members of the Ogun State House of Assembly and other relevant stakeholders with a view to finding a lasting solution to the issues and the report of the committee and its recommendations must be submitted within 100 days. I commit to a full implementation of the recommendations of the committee.”
He also promised a reduction in tuition fees in public-owned higher institutions within 90 days of his assumption of office.
“Scholarship award for outstanding Ogun State students across the country, immediate employment for best graduating students (Ogun State indigenes) from each of our public tertiary institutions, work and study for students of public tertiary institutions in Ogun State.
“Prompt and regular payment of bursary to all students, provision and upgrading of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centres in the three senatorial districts, free school buses for secondary school students in Ogun State and scholarship for best two (male and female) UTME students.”