…gets the flak for non-payment of salaries owed by Aregbesola
By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Former governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola is only owing workers in the state four months’ cooperative deductions and two months’ contributory pension as at the time of handing over to the new government of Governor Ademola Adeleke.
This is contrary to claims by the Adeleke’s government that his predecessor left N76 billion debt in salaries, pensions and insurance commitments.
Investigation by WesternPost post revealed that the salaries allegedly owed by Oyetola were actually what another former governor of the state, Rauf Aregbesola owed the workers and pensioners.
Some workers and labour leaders in the state told WesternPost that Oyetola only owed them four months’ cooperative deductions and two months’ contributory pension, while Aregbesola owed 15 months’ salary arrears and another 29 months’ half salary arrears to secondary school teachers.
The workers, however, are insisting that Oyetola cannot exonerate himself from the government of Aregbesola since he was his Chief of Staff.
According to them, the past government should have paid the salary arrears since government is a continuum.
They also said that Oyetola promised them during his campaigns in 2018 that he will offset the salary arrears if he wins the election, but failed to fulfil his promise.
The President, All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) in the state, Pastor Akinropo Ijaodola said that the outstanding salary owed the workers is a major concern to the workforce in the state as it would benefit both the sizeable number of retired and serving teachers.
Ijaodola lamented that the non-payment of the half salaries is like a dagger in the heart of the workers.
He said: “The 29 months half salary was owed by Aregbesola’s administration. Oyetola promised to pay during his campaign in 2018 but he did not fulfil his promise. Getting to office, he said he did not promise such.”
Secretary of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Rufus Adeyemi also said that past governments in the state owed workers.
He said: “This is not politicking. Government is continuum. The issues of salaries owed workers raised by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance are nothing but the truth.
“The past regimes owed workers so much to which many had died while awaiting their personal entitlements.”
Speaking in the same vein, a worker in the service of the state told our correspondent that both the assets and liabilities of any past administration must be inherited by a new administration, adding that this was not so during Oyetola’s administration.
According to him, Oyetola was part of the Aregbesola’s administration and cannot exonerate himself from the salaries owed the workers.
He said that Oyetola did not pay a dime from the 15 months’ salary arrears which he inherited from Aregbesola’s government, and being part of the administration.
He also blamed Oyetola’s administration for his failure to pay four months’ cooperative deductions.
Another worker who spoke with our correspondent said he lost count of the months Aregbesola owed them.
He said that the former governor owed both salary arrears and contributory pensions.
However, he commended Oyetola for being a prudent manager of the state resources despite the Covid-19 pandemic and offsetting debt owed by Aregbesola’s government.