The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said the current inability of the state government to pay workers salary was caused by his predecessor in office, Kayode Fayemi present Minister of Solid Minerals Development. According to Fayose, the huge debt profile inherited from the immediate past administration which took N25 billion bonds from the Capital Market and also took N31 billion commercial loans, is responsible for the poor financial condition of the state and the challenges faced in the payment of workers’ salaries.
Fayose, who stated this while reacting to the no-shift-ground stance of the striking workers of the state, said about N1.2 billion is being deducted monthly from the state’s allocation to service the loans which the Kayode Fayemi administration took in the course of its four years in the saddle. The governor opined that if the N1.2 billion being deducted is added to the state’s monthly allocations, his administration will not owe workers. Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, Fayose took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress, which he said had been gingering the labour to remain adamant on the issue of the strike.
He said it was quite unfortunate that the Fayemi administration also diverted the N850 million meant for the Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board and thereby led to the suspension of the state from the Universal Basic Education Commission programmes since 2012. Fayose said he was surprised that when Fayemi took the loans, which now made payment of workers’ salaries difficult, the labour did not kick against the moves. The governor said the strike had been politicised because of his criticism of the bad policies of the Federal Government and his fight against tyranny. He wondered why some states where workers are owed more salaries than Ekiti are still witnessing the understanding of the situation by labour.
Explaining further, the governor said when he assumed office on October 16, 2014, he negotiated with the creditor commercial banks for moratorium of nine months which enabled him to pay salaries regularly. He said when the moratorium expired, coupled with monthly deduction of N1.2 billion and dwindling monthly allocations, three months allocations became grossly insufficient to pay a month salary, subventions and other services. Fayose said the last administration inflated figures of the monthly IGR for political reasons giving the labour wrong information and false hope. The governor said: “A state like Ekiti without any industry and Fayemi Administration would post that it realised between N600m and N700m monthly from IGR whereas in the actual sense Ekiti IGR had never gone beyond N300m or N350m monthly.”