Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has promised to pay workers in the state their salaries before the end of the month of June.
He made the promise in a statement issued in Osogbo, the state capital on Sunday by his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon.
The statement was however, silent on whether the governor would pay the backlog of workers’ salaries, most of who are owed as much as seven months or just part of the salaries.
The statement read in part, “Before the end of June, workers would be paid their salaries”.
The governor stated that his vision to make the state industrialized and less dependent on federal allocation informed his administration’s decision to hurriedly embark on many programmes, which had earned him applause even outside the country.
He said further, “The dream has not gone awry and it is a clear vision that Osun must be on its feet, self-reliant and be a reference point in Nigeria. The race to ensure development within the first term of Aregbesola was informed by the fear of what is happening now.
“Aregbesola wanted an Osun that is self-reliant. That Osun, almost two decades after its creation, could not boast of tax-paying companies speaks volume about the magnitude of the works that awaited the Aregbesola administration.
“But he did not shy away from this task of industrialisation. Within his first term, his government had caused investors to bring up companies such as the Omoluabi Garment Factory, Osogbo, Adulawo/RLG Technology company in Ilesa.
“Just last month, a leading telephone line company, Airtel, came to establish partnership with the Adulawo/RLG company. These are aside the various agro-allied companies which have benefited from the growth schemes of the Aregbesola administration throughout the state.
“The government has also commenced aggressive drive for the development of the solid mineral sector with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with an Australian mining firm, Andalusian Mining Industry.
“It was in the same vein that the idea of an airport for aircraft maintenance was conceived.
“Only a lazy administration would accept the tag of Osun as a “civil servant” state as excuse for not developing initiatives for industrialisation.
“To accept that our state must continue to survive on the meagre inflow through what goes to the civil servants alone is to accept that we would continue to depend on external forces for our survival.
“We must work hard to give our people many choices. If you want to work in the civil service, it must be the choice that our people make on their own volition and not that there are no other choices regardless of their education, qualifications and expertise.
“People must not forget that Lagos, in 1999 when former Governor Bola Tinubu took over, was generating a paltry sum. It was the ingenious interventions and immediate provisions of infrastructure that lured investors in to create various opportunities for the people and made tax administration much easier for what is now today’s Lagos. This feat can be repeated in Osun and other parts of Nigeria”.
The statement added that those making capital out of the criticism of Gov. Aregbesola fail to ponder over these facts adding that in spite of the lingering crisis, the administration will not lose focus.
It further added that the governor has come clean on the state of the finances of the state to ensure that nothing is hidden and to assure the people that despite the precarious situation, he is determined to restore the state to the era where his government paid salaries on the 25th of every month.