For the umpteenth time, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has reiterated the importance of payment of workers' salaries to his administration.
Akeredolu made this known during the submission of report of the Committee on the arrears of salaries of the public servants, at the Governor's Office in Akure yesterday.
It would be recalled that the Committee was inaugurated on March 7 to deliberate and report payment of seven months salary arrears owed by the previous administration.
The Governor also said the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), needed to be increased very soon to tackle the salary arrears, saying the present administration did not have any other option but to pay salaries.
"Before we present our budget and after presentation, I will have to address the workers to let them know that it is not possible to use all our money to pay salaries.
"We have said this many times, we must be prepared to pay sacrifices because we do not borrow money to pay salaries, something must be done.
"I thank the people for their efforts and resilience. I know it is not easy, but it is also getting increasingly difficult for the government too, but whatever we do, we will try not to owe salaries," he said.
The Governor further expressed hope that the workers would pay sacrifices as part of contributions to development.
"If they meet and say they waive two months, we will be glad, but if they insist in having the full arrears, we thank them and will look for ways of paying.
"The government will continue to try and make sure we don't owe them salaries," he said.
Earlier, Deputy Governor who doubles as Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, stated that the committee was set up by Arakunrin Akeredolu to look into the backlog of salaries owed workers by the past Dr Olusegun Mimiko-led administration.
According to him, "The amount of money was #38.57b. This is not inclusive of the #41.5b representing outstanding gratuities across board.
"By the grace of God, we are aware that this present administration under the leadership of Arakunrin Akeredolu has been paying salaries regularly. We came in February 24th, we paid February, March, April salaries and have as well, paid one month out of the six months salaries owed by the past government"
"Right now, what is outstanding is #34.5b which is like I said, outside the #41.5b representing outstanding gratuities across the board. What the government is owing now is #34.5b, representing five months salaries as against the 6 months we met ", he explained.
He, however, commended the governor for promising to offset the salaries as soon as there is availability of money in the Stat