THE Ondo State government has explained how it has been able to meet its obligations to the people and at the same time ensure regular payment of salaries of workers, despite the dwindling economy.

Giving insight into the state earnings and expenditure, especially as it affects payment of salaries, the Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, in an interview with newsmen in Akure, said “what the state earns monthly is a far cry from what it expends on salaries and pension.”

Akinmade said for April, for instance, the state total earnings, including allocation from the federation account and internally generated revenue (IGR), was N3.2 billion, while salaries and subvention paid for the same month was N4 billion, adding that government had to look inward to provide the N800 million difference.

He further mentioned that for the same month, allocation for local government was N1.9 billion, while the wage for the council workers was N2.6 billion, adding that government had to augment that too, a trend, he said, had been on for over a year.

Maintaining that what accrues to the state and local governments on monthly basis is low, compared to what is expended on wages, Akinmade said there had never been a time when the state allocation was sufficient enough to pay salaries.

Apart from workers in local government areas, he said primary school teachers, pensioners and traditional rulers were being paid from the local government purse.

He said the clarification became necessary, because of those who were being mischievous and all kind of figures as government’s allocation from the Federal Government.

“What each state gets as allocation from the Federal Government is not a secret. These figures are in the public domain and it’s pure mischief for anybody or group of people to continually play politics with such a sensitive issue,” he said.

Akinmade said it was on record that Ondo pays the highest minimum wage of N22,500 to civil servants in the country, adding that despite that, the state had been able to maintain regular payment of salaries and provide dividends of democracy for others in the state.

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