By Evelyn Omotoye
Contrary to rumours milling around, Ondo State is yet to receive the last tranche of the Paris Club Refund from the Federal Government as it is being speculated.
The State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa made the declaration yesterday.
A statement issued by the Press Officer of the ministry, Mrs Itunu Lijofi, quoted Akinterinwa as describing the present administration as sensitive to the plights of workers and particularly about the welfare of the generality of the citizenry in the state.
According to him, government cannot deprive civil servants of their salaries which according to him is their right.
He said that contrary to the speculations that the state had received the fund, the state is yet to be credited. According to him, the disbursement is in public domain adding that the facts can be verified from the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank.
The Commissioner promised the good people of the state that immediately the fund is received, the government will do the needful and use the money appropriately.
Aknterinwa sought the cooperation of the people especially public servants and promised that the Akeredolu led government would not joke with their entitlements.
In the same vein, the State Government has restated its commitment to prioritising the welfare of its workers trough prompt payment of salaries and regular promotion.
The State’s Head of Service, Barr Toyin Akinkuotu stated this yesterday while addressing some workers who embarked on peaceful protest to the Governor’s office over what the Labour leaders described as refusal of the state government to address workers on the Paris Club refund despite their repeated demands.
The HoS who reminded the workers that the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu led administration has not owed salary since inception, stressed that workers were paid as and when due and adding that letters of 2018 promotion exercise have been issued to workers who were due for promotion.
“It is okay for you to complain but I don’t want us to forget in a hurry what transpired before February 2017. This government since inception has been committed to paying our salary regularly.
“It is worthy of note also that the Akeredolu led government has paid 3.8 part of the seven months salary areas he inherited from past government and remained only 3.2part”, adding that no due worker has been denied of his promotion under this government.
Noting that the Paris Club refund cannot be hidden from the public knowledge, he assured that the government would be as transparent as possible on the fund and promised that all workers would soon smile.
Also speaking, Deputy Accountant General, Mr. Tunde Akinsanmi confirmed the position of the state finance commissioner, that the state government received alert of 20.9billoin about four weeks ago, but the amount was later withdrawn by CBN from state covers.
He noted that the step, the Federal Government claimed is to verify Ondo State statement of account which would be presented to the Governor forum soon.
According to him, the state account was in good order and all required documents presented to aid quick verification and assessment as the case may be, saying that the alert is yet to be received back from the CBN.
He pointed out that only Osun and Lagos States have received theirs in the Southwest region, expressing hopes that the state would soon get its own and promised to make open the amount when eventually received.
Affirming that the government has paid deductions up to July, Akinsanmi reiterated that the present administration in the state is committed to pay salary arrears and other payment as soon as the fund is available.
Earlier, the Labour leaders had led the workers in peaceful protest to the governor’s office demanding that the government should inform them on the payment plans for the salary arrears, leave bonus, deductions among other things they are agitating for.