Financial Crisis: Ajimobi calls for Reduction of Workers salaries, Retrench or Restructure.

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Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has expressed full support for the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying it is the best for the country.

Ajimobi, at a radio programme monitored in Ibadan on Saturday, said that Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade would take Nigeria to greater heights.

“I fully support Buhari. I thank God now that we have him in power. He is a man that is determined to wage relentless war against the malady of corruption.

“If we do not fight corruption as a nation, then we cannot grow,” the governor said.

Ajimobi attributed the non-constitution of his cabinet to the economic situation of the state, adding that he had decided to settle down for three months before appointing his cabinet members.

`We will appoint 10 Special Advisers and Commissioners this month, by God’s grace. We have reduced our ministries to 13,” he disclosed.

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Speaking on the bailout fund for states, the governor said that the state governments would pay the money back at about nine per cent interest.

“The money we are getting is strictly to pay salaries. It is illegal to use it for any other thing.

“Even with that, about N17 billion is to be paid to the state government workers.

“We are supposed to pay local government workers N9 billion. As at today, we owe workers

N21.3 billion.

“This means that after using the bailout fund to pay salaries, we will still be owing and we will continue to owe until our allocation or internal generated revenue increases.”

Ajimobi said that the allocation to the state from the Federal Government on assumption of office in 2011 was N5 billion.

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According to him, however, the state hardly gets N3 billion now.

He said that the financial situation of the state was the reason he met with representatives of workers to consider the next line of action.

According to him, the next line of action of the state government will be to reduce workers’ salaries, retrench or restructure.

“We will block all loopholes from where government loses revenue. Civil servants found guilty will be dealt with after following the due process,” he said.

The governor said that the people of the state had started complaining that the streets were now dirty again.

“Our people complained that we were too harsh on street traders, so we calmed down.

“Now, the same people have been coming to us to loudly register their embarrassment over the condition of our environment.

“We have decided that from Oct. 1, it will be fire for fire with street traders. There will be no turning back this time around.

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“We will clean everywhere. We will use Oyo Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) personnel to achieve that,” he said.

Speaking on the petition instituted against him by the ACCORD Party at the tribunal, he expressed optimism that he would win at the tribunal.

“Even though I should not be talking about the tribunal issue, but I can say it here that there is no case.

“I am confident that we will win. I am not afraid. We won that election,” he said. (NAN)

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