Ekiti Justifies Failure to Pay Workers’ N57bn Salaries, Gratuities Arrears
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government has justified its failure to pay the N57 billion salaries, gratuities and pensions arrears of workers and retirees as promised in 2018, hinging this on recurrent economic downturn being experienced by the state.
Justifying that the current administration has performed creditably, the government said it has constructed a total of 139 kilometres of roads in the last four years, and also undertook some palliatives on the dilapidated federal roads to make them accessible for motorists.
The state Commissioner for Information, Akin Omole, stated this at the press conference heralding the fourth anniversary and valedictory ceremonies of the Fayemi administration and the inauguration of Hon. Biodun Oyebanji, with the theme: ‘Finishing well’.
Omole added that the current government had rehabilitated 14 general and state hospitals and had also initiated operation one primary healthcare per- ward in line with the design of the National Healthcare Policy.
He said the parlous states of the federal roads in Ekiti State was due to increased traffic from adjoining states, especially upsurge of haulage businesses and cross border trucks, which he said piled pressures on some of the highways to cave in.
According to the commissioner, “As at 2018 when Governor Fayemi came on board, he said he had the intention of paying all these arrears. But budget support fund, Paris club, excess crude and other funds we were getting from the federal government stopped, and we were only collecting monthly allocation. That’s what actually stopped us from fulfilling this promise.
“We were still able to pay a part of it. We paid two out of the salary arrears. If our predecessor, who collected all these funds, could not pay, then we should ask questions. It is not our intention not to pay all these arrears. But we are glad that we have a government that is coming after us. If there are areas where we have not fulfilled our promises, the next government will start from there.”
Cataloguing the achievements of the present administration, Omole said: “Ekiti International Agro-Allied Cargo Airport is a dream comes true, not only for this administration, but also for Ekiti-kete and for the generation yet unborn. Though projected to be an agro-based cargo airport, this does not foreclose commercial passenger operation.
“The airport boasts of CA5-9 4E category with capacity for Boeing 747-400 and a runway length of 3.2km.”
Omole added that within the period under review, Fayemi government had completed projects which include dual-lane Ado-Iyin road; construction of Ekiti State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja; reconstruction of Agbado-Ode-Isinbode road; construction of Aramoko-Erijiyan-Ikogosi road; construction of Oye-Ayede-Iye -Otun road, and the construction of Ilupeju-Ire-Igbemo-road among numerous projects in the state.