Osun state governor, Rauf Aregbesola in a chat session with social commentator Japeth Omojuwa today, has clarified that the presentation of primary school certificate is not a pre-requisite for the collection of outstanding salaries.
The chat session on twitter which lasted for 90minutes and monitored by CSNewsroom addressed issues bothering the state. Aregbesola who tweeted in response to the question said that the process is to consolidate on the ongoing staff audit meant to streamline the size of government to avoid another financial difficulty. He however said that tough decisions would be made to ensure that the state live within their means.
“The civil servants themselves asked for a rigorous staff audit. This is simply one step in the verification process but payments starts from the end of next week,” he said.
Aregbesola however stated that social programmes are not the cause of current financial challenges as speculated but national issues and what he termed “big government”. “Our social programmes are models of replication by not only the federal government but development institutions. Investing in people is infact an innovative way out of our national development challenges.”
Aregbesola further revealed that the state school feeding scheme benefited 252,000 school children at a yearly cost of N3.5b and that the state wage bill is over N40b a year.
He said even though social programmes are more impactful and sustainable yet an action needs to be taken.
He said that the state has championed a successful feeding scheme, youth empowerment model and rural infrastructure development that have been acclaimed globally. According to him, “Osun is now the state with the lowest unemployment and second lowest poverty rate confirmed by the global development institutions and the National Bureau of Statistics.”
When asked about the delay in his appointment of commissioners, Aregbesola said that the state does not have the luxury of heavy overheads but that commissioners will be appointed soon.
Addressing the issue of outstanding state allowance for 2014 Batch B corp members, he said “All outstanding payments are being processed, we only ask for a little patience.”
“Osun is gradually changing the focus of governance towards people-centric solutions and we have shown that the poor majority can be served sustainably,” he said. When asked what he would like to be remembered for, Aregbesola said “For championing practical welfarism”