The governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has disclosed that the state government is owing workers in the state civil service a total sum of N57 billion, which he said was caused by irregular payment of salaries and pensions by the immediate past administration.
Fayemi said the arrears covered outstanding salaries, pensions, promotions, leave bonuses and other emoluments from 2014 to October 2018 when he assumed office.
According to him, he was not opposed to local government autonomy, saying his administration had been giving local governments in the state unfettered access to administer their own funds without interference since he assumed office.
Gov Fayemi spoke yesterday at the State Secretariat in Ado Ekiti during an interactive session with civil servants across ministries, parastatals and agencies.
He promised to honour his pledge to pay all outstanding workers’ benefits, but clarified that some workers would be given immediate attention, while some payments would be done in instalments.
“It is sad to reel out such a humongous figure because it can create panic for you and I. It becomes difficult to pay all at once because Ekiti State gets a little above N5 billion monthly from the federal allocation, with the state government getting like N3bn, while the local governments receive a little above N2bn monthly,” he disclosed.
On autonomy for local governments, Fayemi declared, “I am not opposed to it. Since I came back, I have not administered even one Naira of local government money. We did some partnerships in 2014 through five-kilometre road projects across our councils. But since I came back, I have allowed the councils to manage whatever comes to them.”
The governor said the state was considering an alternative power supply option to shore up supply to the state from the national grid, which he described as inadequate and crippling economic activities.
The Chairman, Public Service Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) Comrade Kayode Fatomiluyi, called the state government’s attention to chronic shortage of manpower in the health sector in the state.