It’s not that we have not been paying salaries but … —Oyo govt •We got N37.044bn in past 12 months

Oyo State government has chided those insinuations that the Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led administration deliberately continued to pile up salary arrears, noting that the Federal Government allocation of N37.044 billion that has accrued to the state in the past one year was inadequate to pay salaries monthly.

The state government, through the Commissioner for Finance and Budget, Mr Bimbo Adekanmbi, maintained that in spite of committing 100 per cent of the Federal Government allocation to the payment of salaries, the current deficit of the state on salaries stood at N29 billion.

“There is backlog of salaries of six months, because if you look at the inflow of N37.044billion in one year, we get an average between N2 billion and N3 billion monthly, whereas the average monthly wage of N5.2billion. We agreed with labour that 100 per cent of Federal Government allocation be used to pay salaries, but we have an average deficit of over N2 billion monthly and it continues to pile up every month.

“As of now, the state government has a total deficit on salaries of N29 billion. It is not that government has not been paying salaries but the money accruing to the state government is not enough to offset pay salaries. Moreover, there has been an agreement with labour on how we will be paying salaries.”

“How will it be insinuated that the government deliberately does not want to pay salaries? The figures we have supplied are not manufactured. We are using 100 per cent of what we get from the Federal Government to pay salaries and we have a deficit of N29 billion. We have 10 billion people in Oyo State and we use our IGR of just over N1billion to service these people.”

Adekanmbi, while presenting the details of the inflow of income to the state  since May 2015 till date, showcased that the state government had collected amounts less that N3billion for nine months, after statutory deductions had been made.

A breakdown of the inflow of income to the state shows that Oyo State collected N3.094 billion in June 2015; N4.004 billion (July 2015); N3.919 billion (August 2015); N2.9 billion (September 2015); N2.5billion (October 2015); N3 billion (November 2015); N2.7 billion (December 2015); N2.6 billion (January 2016); N2.5 billion (February 2016); N2.2 billion (March 2016); N2.1 billion (April 2016); N2billion (May 2016); N2.1 billion (June).

He also argued that the ‘bailout’ sums of about N26 billion and recent N14.16 billion, when added to the monthly allocations, were inadequate to pay salaries, adding that they were repayable debts.

“There is no N84billion that has come into the coffers of Oyo State government from May 2015 to May 2016. It has been N37.044 billion actual cash that has hit the account of the government of Oyo State and the amount that has hit the account of the local government (Joint Allocation Committee), which is a separate account, over which the state government has no control, and from which the state government cannot draw money for salaries is N40.484 billion.”

“There are statutory deductions. Oyo State has some financial obligations like the assistance we got from the World Bank for the August 2012 flooding in Ibadan through the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project. That is not a grant, it is a debt. Also, the salary bailout that we got last year is being deducted. Bailouts are repayable. Even an addition of the recent N14.16 billion that we have accessed, as part of the Federal Government’s financial sustainability plan, to our monthly allocation, is still not enough to pay salaries.”