The immediate past Governor of Ogun State, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun has fired back Governor Dapo Abiodun over claims that he left behind a sum of N106.9 billion as unpaid workers gratuities, leave bonuses, contributory pension and promotion arrears, Newspot reports.
Amosun, in a statement signed by the former Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Barr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, on Friday, said, since he left office, “we have consciously refrained from joining issues with the successor regime.
This he said, is despite the “misstatements of facts in respect of programs and projects” of the previous administration.
However, Adeoluwa said, “our conscious decisions to stay in our lane were violated last week during the well-publicized Ogun State worker’s strike.”
According to him, the Abiodun administration had sponsored an advertorial in the newspaper on September 18, accusing the Amosun administration of owing workers up to N106.9 billion before leaving office.
Setting the record straight, the former SSG said: “the total outstanding Gratuity to the State workers stood at ₦7,635,425,007.44 at the end of our administration on 29 May 2019.”
For local government and SUBEB workers, it was stated that “A total sum of ₦22.9B was the outstanding Gratuity” as against the “₦32.5B published. Leaving an overstated amount of ₦9.6B.”
For leave bonus, Adeoluwa mentioned that the liability was overstated by ₦1.6B; saying N9.6b was claimed as “against the actual outstanding liability of ₦7.6B.”
“We noticed also that the amount of ₦46.5 Billion published as the outstanding Contributory Pension liabilities was overstated by ₦5.1 Billion. As the total liabilities stood at ₦41.4 Billion (State – ₦20.03B, LG & SUBEB – ₦21.37B). Respectfully, we cannot, therefore, be held responsible for the outstanding debts of ₦41.4B attributed to us,” he said.
Speaking further, the legal practitioner said, “We wish to place on record that we made full disclosure of our financial status and deliberately included that of SUBEB and LGAs.”
He said the Gbenga Daniel administration only declared liabilities of ₦49.23B, excluding outstanding amounts owed to the other tiers of government (the Local Government).
He noted that without attaining a financial break-even point in the state IGR, the State will continue to lag behind in development, stressing that the financial break-even point for the State will be, if and when the State attains the IGR figure of at least ₦12.5 Billion.
He recalled how the Amosun government increased the “IGR from a paltry ₦700 million monthly that we met upon assumption in May 2011, to about ₦7 billion” monthly in May 2019.
“Let it be noted that our Administration did not start from ‘Ground Zero’ in terms of outstanding liabilities related to Ogun State workers – Salary, Emoluments and Allowances. Rather, with the help of God and the support of the good people of Ogun State, as well as our Administration’s commitment and resolve to leave Ogun State better than we met it, we are proud to say that we have been able to put our dear State on auto-drive, particularly in the area of improved IGR. The Ogun State we left behind can be likened to an Economic Volcano that is already erupting.
“From the Financial Outlook of the State, as contained in the Ogun State Development Plan (2017-2030), we were confident to predict that by the year 2022, the State’s IGR will be between ₦12 Billion to ₦14 Billion monthly, while a further projected figure put it at ₦20 Billion per month by the year 2025. This is no rocket science, but an outcome of a coordinated approach and well-articulated plan laid out by our Administration.
“In light of this, it is expected that any succeeding administration after us will continue with the Ogun Standard way of thinking out of the box in order to take our dear State to the highest pedestal, whose foundation had already been laid by our Administration and the Contributions and Efforts of those GIANTS that came before us,” the statement read in part.
Newspot reports that Adeoluwa appreciated the workers for calling off the strike, urging them to always take cognisance of the fact that the people of Ogun State will ultimately be the victims of such disagreement between Government and Labour.