Ondo workers unpaid for 3 months yet govt lavished millions on party

Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State... Photo Credit: Ondo State Government
Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State... Photo Credit: Ondo State Government

Workers in Ondo State have accused the state government of spending millions of naira to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the creation of the state when workers are not paid for three months.

The week-long events, held between the February 22 and 28 amid pomp and pageantry, were to also mark the seven-year anniversary of Governor Olusegun Mimiko in office.

Workers who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on the condition of anonymity accused government of insensitivity to workers’ plight, saying the situation had placed them and their families in difficult situation.

“I have five children and it is not easy to feed not to talk about doing other necessary things in the home,” a civil servant who preferred anonymity, for fear he might be victimised, said.

“It is saddening that government squandered millions of naira on parties, while it owes backlog of workers’ salaries.

“It has become so hard that paying school fees for the children is now a matter of indebtedness, some of the schools are allowing us to pay in bits whenever any of the salaries come.”

The civil servant said he applied to get a loan from his cooperative society, and until that materialises, he would have to continue to live on charity.

Another worker, who simply identified himself as Gabriel, said his situation deteriorated after exhausting avenues for loan acquisition.

“I borrowed from the bank, and because salaries are no longer coming as usual, I do not know what to do,” he said.

“I learnt of a finance house they call Sharp, Sharp. Some people are going there. I don’t know whether that will be an opportunity to get money, but paying back has always been the problem.”

The workers said it was only recently that the government paid November 2015 salary, saying they were yet to collect December 2015, January and February 2016 salaries.

The civil servants also accused labour union in the state of insensitivity, alleging that it failed to task the state government on meeting its obligation to workers.

But in a swift reaction, the chairperson of the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state, Bosede Daramola, denied any compromise, stating the NLC was doing everything within its powers to ensure workers get their dues.

She said the economic hardship was not peculiar to Ondo State, noting that as long as there were funds, the NLC would ensure the interests of workers are prioritised.

The anniversary event, which was well attended by political and diplomatic bigwigs from within and outside the state, held at the newly built international conference centre, also referred to as the Dome.

Foods were in abundance and exotic drinks were served.

The events were televised live on TV, which cost the states several millions.

A tour of some key projects across the state was conducted in which dignitaries, including former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku; former Information Minister, Labaran Maku; former Labour Party Chairman, Dan Iwuanyanwu, and two senators, Ben Muray-Bruce and Shehu Sani, participating.

While defending the celebration, the Chairman of the Anniversary Planning Committee and Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Akin Adaramola, said the celebration was modest enough, in line with the economic realities of the state.


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  • ayo

    I am not surprised teachers have not been paid for three months in Ondo State.
    The only thing Mimiko is good at is primitive local politics and junketing from state to state to have clandestine meetings with useless individuals destroying the nation state of Nigeria.
    In the seven years he has been at the helm of affairs in the state apart from going cap in hand to Abuja he has not been able to transform Ondo state into a major agriculture export hub that it should rightly be. There is nothing also to write home about in capacity building.
    The reality on ground is that he has not done any thing to write home about and the future of Ondo State people is very bleak.
    We cant wait till November to have this fellow leave the state. I hope he is ready to account for all the windfall he collected as an oil producing state in the last seven years which we know has been hidden away as it hasn’t been spent in the state.