APC, PDP differ over request for fresh bailout by Osun govt



The ruling All Progressives Congress {APC} and the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party {PDP} in Osun state has disagreed over the need to secure a fresh bailout from the federal authorities for payment of workers’ salaries. Osun APC on Wednesday stoked the debate when the party urged the federal government to consider another bailout to states in the federation who are finding it difficult to settle wages

The party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi, had in a statement said the central authority intervention was necessary because first tranche given by the federal government was inadequate to tackle the financial challenges facing many states on the payment of salaries.

He said,’to avoid an emergency that could create difficulties for the economy in the next decade, the Federal Government must address the problem now, even if it means having recourse to our reserves’’. The APC decried a situation in which many states owed their workers salaries between 5 and 10 months even after the first bailout was doled out to them.

‘We are therefore appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government to help the affected states ‎out of this crisis’, the party said. The APC argued that, ‘’ since it has been impossible for states including Osun, to use internally generated revenue to pay its workers, it is unlikely to do so in the next decade without major restructuring of the political and economic landscape of the country as it currently exists‎’.

However, the PDP has kicked against the proposal saying President Muhammadu Buhari should be watchful in granting additional bailout particularly to Osun because it would just constitute additional debt burden.

The PDP spokesperson in Osun, Prince Diran Odeyemi in a statement yesterday, said that granting the request of Osun for fresh bailout is capable of igniting public revolt. The opposition party alleged that the first bailout of N35 billion the government got never complied with the basic requirements of accessing such funds.

He said, “In the first instance, the bailout was given to governor Rauf Aregbesola without a resolution of state Executive Council since the governor has refused to form cabinet 18 months after returning for another term. Also, the state House of Assembly never approved the bailout. Our sole administrator single handedly took the money and spent it anyhow.

Despite the bailout, the workers have not been receiving their salaries as at when due. For a year, workers in Osun have been getting less than half their salaries” Insisting that mass action might greet any further move to sink the state into more indebtedness, the PDP added that instead of listening to pleas for more funds from the governor and his party, the federal government should urgently look into how Osun, among the 36 states and FCT got N131 million deficit in March allocation.

“We will however offer helping hands to help federal government get into the root of the financial crises facing the state. Aregbesola bought helicopter with state’s funds for surveillance and converted it to personal use.

“He is wasting billions on airport project and few federal roads awarded at inflated cost. The failed Opon imo tablets and planting of flowers on Ife/Ibadan road also gulped billions of naira taken out of state coffers”, the party said.

The party then advised Governor Aregbesola to resign, if he is confused about how to manage affairs of the state, stressing that with the average of N2.4 billion monthly loan repayment, the state couldn’t afford additional debt burden.

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