The Osun State Government has said the immediate past administration left a debt portfolio of N76bn in unpaid salaries, pensions, and insurance commitments.
A statement by the spokesperson for the governor, Olawale Rasheed, obtained in Osogbo on Thursday, said the figure was given by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs Bimpe Ogunlumade, while briefing officials of the new administration on the financial status of the state.
The statement read in part, “The breakdown of the salaries and pension-related liabilities as disclosed by the permanent secretary are as follows: Salary: N29,875,191,128.64; Pension Arrears: N45,375,237,693.40; and Group Life Assurance Scheme: N554,644,028.97; giving a total of N75,805,072,851.01.”
It further said the disclosure was contrary to the claim by the ex-governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, that he left a sum of N14bn in cash for the new government.
The state government stated that the figure was not the total debt left by the past administration, as briefings on other sources of liabilities had not been completed.
Meanwhile, Governor Ademola Adeleke has ordered the submission of a salary schedule to the relevant office within the next 24 hours.
A statement by his spokesperson, Rasheed, stated that Adeleke issued the directive after taking a briefing from the state Ministry of Finance.
“Top officials of the ministry had attributed the delay in salary payment to the failure of some agencies to submit their salary schedules on time.
“Governor Adeleke consequently directed the immediate conclusion of the processes, affirming that his administration is averse to the inconveniences the delay has forced on the state work force,” the statement added.
However, while reacting, Ismail Omipidan, the media aide to the former governor said the administration did not owe salaries.
Omipidan said, “For the umpteenth time, let me place it on record that for four years, we did not owe a dime in salary payments, while we made conscious efforts to reduce the backlog of pensions and gratuities we inherited.
“This also explains why there hasn’t been a strike in four years. According to their calculations, we owed salaries for nearly a year. Is that possible? The labour union can also attest that we never left any salary unpaid during our tenure, and we did not take out any bank loans for four years.”