Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State was on Channels TV this afternoon, trying to explain why state employees have not been paid for eight months.
The governor belongs to the All Progressives Congress (APC) who claimed during the last (s)election that they will bring “change” to the country.
He blamed what he called “the falling allocation” from the federal government that has “disorganised the budget” for the failure in paying salaries. He said that there was an “unexpected sharp decline” in the amounts the state receives from the federal government and the “result is a sad experience” for government workers in his state.
The governor said that since he came into office in 2010 people can see the “changes we have brought about”.
I have never been to Osun State so I would leave it to others to testify about those “changes”.
But I should point out that a critical “change” is missing in Osun State. The man has been in power for five years and in all that time he never thought it wise and prudent to put in place other sources of revenue, that would make his state a viable entity that is able to pay its workers without handouts from the federal government.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also claimed that the governor has a helicopter that he and his family use, that he could sell to raise funds to pay employees. There were also allegations that he spent a lot of state funds during the just concluded (s)elections. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, then finance minister, a few months ago, said that state governors should account to their people how they spend the money they receive from the federal government. She also said earlier that the amounts dropped due to the fall in the oil price. I didn’t hear Aregbesola mention the oil price on Channels TV, despite the fact that his budget almost entirely depends on this.
His son, Kabiru, was alleged to have been arrested with $912,000 in cash at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, as he tried to jet off to the UAE a few months ago. The governor and his people denied the allegation.
Aregbesola should not fool anyone with his posturing about “change”, when in five years he can’t pay his state’s employees for eight months and is blaming federal allocations for this.