Days to the governorship election, the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has announced the resumption of payment of salary deductions and cooperative dues to workers, amid threats by government staffers to vote him out of power.
The governor announced the release of N1.5 billion for the payment on Thursday.
The non-payment of the deductions and cooperative dues had been a subject of intense controversy between government workers and the governor, with the former embarking on a three-day warning strike.
The workers vowed to vote against the governor’s re-election if he failed to pay the money.
The government, announcing the payment, said the money covers deductions from salaries affecting both state and local government workers.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the release was in fulfilment of the agreement reached between the governor and the workers in March.
“Prior to the downturn in Federal Allocation and the general economy, the State Government had been remitting salary deductions as and when due and had even cleared arrears inherited from the past administration,” Mr. Olaniyonu explained.
“However, the suddenness of recent downturn adversely affected both the Federal Allocation and Internally Generated Revenue, thereby creating fresh arrears,” the statement said.
The government said the release demonstrated it has successfully adjusted to the new financial reality and it was confident that it would be able to clear the balance of arrears expediently.
The adjustment, the government stated, was achieved through increased spending efficiencies and enhanced focus on internally generated revenue.
The government praised the workers for their patience, understanding and co-operation since the administration assumed office, particularly when the economic downturn led to delay in the remittance of the deductions and co-operative dues.
It assured the workers that their interest would always be protected, and restated that there was no plan to sack any worker.