By Akeem Abas
Oyo State Government has announced 50 per cent reduction in the salaries of political office holders, their compensation, approval limits and government’s spending with immediate effect.
Alhaji Olalekan Alli, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), disclosed this at a news conference held in Ibadan on Monday.
Alli said that the decision was taken at the State Executive Council meeting held on Friday, Nov. 4.
He said that it was a measure to shore up the dwindling revenue base of the state.
The SSG said that the state had been spending its monthly allocation from the federation account on payment of workers’ salary, which he said, stood at N5.2 billion.
Alli said that government had not reneged on its subsisting agreement with the labour unions to pay them 100 per cent of the monthly federal allocation to the state.
“The resources of government in the state dwindled as a result of the economic downturn.
“In July, the state’s monthly allocation was N4 billion, N3.8 billion in Aug., N3.5 billion in Sept. and N2.8 billion in Oct.
“Considering the dwindling allocation, the best is for state governments to look inward.
“This is why we are slashing the salaries of all political office holders,’’ he said.
He said that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state was still between N1 billion to N1.5 billion.
Alli said that the state government had employed the restructuring and verification exercise in the state as a means of blocking the several loopholes that allowed for waste of resources.
He said that the ongoing Biometric Verification Number (BVN) exercise in the state had revealed some ghost workers drawing multiple salaries.
“We have discovered 500 people who did not come for the verification exercise to unravel their true identity,’’ he said.
Alli said that the state agriculture initiative continued with a target of two million in terms of job and food security.
He said that work had reached advance stage on the 10, 000 metric tons silos being constructed in the three senatorial districts of the state.