Osun State Governor, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola, on Friday said the economic situation that led to his administration’s inability to pay workers’ salaries was beyond his control. He said it was heart-rending that he had found himself in the situation which he described as a quagmire. Aregbesola spoke with journalists after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari behind close-doors at the Defence House in Abuja. He said he was not happy the same way a head of a family would feel when he cannot meet the needs of his family members. The governor said, “No head of the family will be happy that he cannot feed members of the family. It is heart-rending that I am in this quagmire. “But no matter how sad, no matter how unhappy I am, the truth is that I will not fail to say that it is a situation absolutely beyond my control. “I led an administration in receipt of regular allocation in which I do my budget. Unfortunately, this allocation started falling in rapid form that totally disorganised my budget and any other arrangement.” Aregbesola, however, urged the people to appreciate that he had transformed the state that he met it in 2010. According to him, the transformation is a as result of effective application of resources. The governor explained that with the unexpected and sharp decline in revenue, his administration had a dislocation.
He said, “Were it to be Osun State alone, probably I would not have an excuse. I pray it does not continue. I am not sure if there will be any state that will actually escape from the biting effect of the absolute sharp drop which I call economic disaster that we are grappling with. “Since my inauguration on November 27, 2010, I had made it a duty to pay salary on or before 25th of every month up until January 2014 when that became practically impossible.
“I have been giving the same staff who today are, regrettably and painfully, not being paid annual bonus that we call 13th month salary. There was no demand for it. I just felt that workers must be encouraged, they must be inspired. “I did that religiously and faithfully from 2010 to 2013. The development that led to this began precisely in July when we received the June allocation and it was short by 40 per cent. “Since then, what we have been receiving from the Federation Account is less than the wages, personnel cost. It is far and not mildly less.”