Amid the agitation by Ondo workers for the payment of their leave bonuses, the governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has denied receiving the last tranche of the Paris Club refunds.
The workers alleged that the state governor received the funds and refused to declare it for the payment of workers emoluments.
They threatened to embark on an industrial action if the state government refused to settle several years of leave bonuses and salary arrears.
They alleged the funds had been released and that the state government had placed the cash in a fixed deposit at the bank.
But Mr Akeredolu, in his remarks at the World Food Day celebration held on Tuesday at the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, dared the workers to drag him before the anti-graft agency if they have any evidence that he had received and fixed the Paris Club refunds in a bank.
He said his administration would give priority to the welfare of the workers in the state, and other sectors.
According to Mr Akeredolu, he was not owing salaries. He said the workers had been paid up to date.
“We are not owing any worker since I assumed office, I have been paying their salaries as at when due, even the eight months owned by the last administration, I have paid part of it,” he said.
“We will also pay their leave bonus. Everybody will get his or her leave bonus before the end of this week.
“It has been rumoured that I have fixed the Paris Club refund, it is not true, no governor can fix that money, we have not received that money.
“I challenge anybody to tell the world the bank in which we have fixed the money.
“We need to take care of other people in the state because we are working for all the people of the state and there is need to develop the state in terms of roads and other infrastructural development.
“We cannot expend all the money accrued to the state to pay salaries of workers. We cannot do more than our capacity because we have other things to attend to.”
The governor also said his administration would continue to create an enabling environment to boost agricultural production in the state and also to encourage the youth to be involved in agriculture.
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