Ondo state government has appealed to the Federal Government for the refund of ₦9.5 billion it spent on rehabilitation of federal roads as well as the $100 million, being an over-payment by the state during the settlement of the Paris Club debt to enable it pays the workers’ salaries.
This follows the workers decision to begin an indefinite strike on Wednesday over the unpaid five-month salary in the state.
According to the State commissioner for information, Kayode Akinmade, who said that the government’s inability to meet up with the payment of workers salary is as a result of the continued drop in federal allocations sent to the State.
“We appreciate that this are not the best of times for workers in the state.
“We are doing all within our power to ensure we get funds to pay workers their entitlements, but if we can get the federal government to refund the N9.5 billion we spent on road rehabilitation, that will enable us pay salaries.
“This is not peculiar to Ondo State, it is affecting 32 states in the federation, but we are doing our best to handle it.”
“Last month, we got only N931 million, we had to borrow N1.6 billion to augment the funds, before we could run some activities of government,”
While empathizing with the workers on the pains and travails they are going through as a result of the non payment of salary, he disclosed that the state was also expecting the $100 million Paris Club refund.
Meanwhile, Organised Labour observed their first day of the indefinite strike yesterday shutting down all government businesses including Courts, schools and all ministries, departments and agencies in the State though Private businesses were not affected. The leadership of the Labour went round offices within the State to ensure compliance with the stay-at-home directive given by the Nigeria Labour Congress which the opined to be the only option left since the state government had reneged on the agreement it reached with labour to pay January and February 2016 salaries on or before May 31.
In the meantime, the government has urged the labour unions to dialogue with the government to resolve the salary impasse noting that embarking on strike can never serve as a solution.
Subsequently, the Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Ondo State, Bosede Daramola, has disclosed that a meeting between labour and government officials is scheduled to hold on Thursday.
“Our doors are always open for dialogue with the government.

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