Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Tuesday disclosed that the state Government got only N1.6 billion from the Federation Account this month and has a shortfall of N1.4 billion to meet salaries and overheads, but that it won’t stop the Government from meeting its wage obligation before the end of the month.
Oshiomhole who restated his commitment to the prompt payment of workers’ salaries during a visit of the newly elected leadership of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) said, “the labour movement remains to me my primary, original constituency.
Politics is my secondary constituency, and I am never ashamed to say it that the style that I adopt and the strategy that I evoke are the result of my trade union training and all that the union equipped me with. So, our movement gives us all that we need to prepare for leadership. So, I congratulate you on your election. I also want to congratulate your immediate predecessor, for the leadership he provided for the TUC.
“Things are tough. This month, Edo State Government received from the Federation Account N1.6 billion. I will need about N3 billion to pay wages and overheads and other basic things that are not negotiable, which means we have a deficit of about N1.4 billion. But we will pay the workers before the 30th, before May Day, they must get their money. It is a lot easier for the government to explain poor finances. It is far more complex to explain how in the face of the crisis in the country, how a worker is able to go to work, stay at work, put in eight hours work, find his way back home, provide for his wife and then hug the children as a father that cares with a salary of twenty thousand.
“So, the worker is the greatest economist, whether in prosperity or in recession, the wages are taxed while every other price is dynamic. As a Christian, I think it is a temptation. So, when it dropped to this level, I think somebody must be saying, let’s see how he is going to cope. The God that made me a governor will enable me to meet all the obligations.
“Your request for May Day, we will provide. We don’t have much in our treasury but we have much in our will and determination. And it is that will that will enable us to do any of the things that are good in the eyes of God. So, we will do the May Day as if we were not in this kind of crisis.
“For the promotion, I have told the Head of Service. I want our promotion to be up to date, sign them, implement them, not notional, and translate them to naira and kobo so that I am not passing on any social burden to my successor. I want to be able to pay it so that nobody will say I did it on the eve of my departure.
“For us to get out of this recession, we must reflate the economy. I have argued and nobody has contradicted me that what we spend on workers is the only money that re-circulates within the Nigerian economy. What the ruling class spends is the only money.