The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Osun State, Jacob Adekomi, has denied that the release of N19.8bn by the state government to pay arrears of workers’ salaries and pensions was an attempt to sway the workers’ votes.
Adekomi made the clarification in an interview with Sunday Punch in Osogbo on Friday.
He noted that the state government owed workers and pensioners arrears of 34 months, which Governor Rauf Aregbesola had promised to pay them whenever there was the means to do so.
According to him, the governor sourced additional N3bn and added it to the N16.6bn released by the Federal Government as part of the state’s share of the Paris Club loan refund.
Adekomi said that the money was used to pay four-month salary arrears and pensions as well as the August salary.
He commended the governor for his action, adding that the governor had fulfilled part of the promise he made to the workers that they would be paid whenever the state received any fund for that purpose.
The labour leader said, “I don’t see this as a plan to buy workers’ votes at all because there is no connection between the payment of salary arrears and the election. The state owed modulated salaries of 34 months and the money was used to clear part of the debt being owed us.
“That will not force any worker or pensioner to vote for who they don’t want. The governor has been promising us since and we know that he has been paying us anytime there is fund coming to the state.”