In a bid to cushion the effect of unpaid salaries running to six months, the Living Faith Church, AKA Winner’s Chapel, Osogbo on Sunday donated food items and cash to public workers in the church and other places.
Public workers who were interested in the items were invited by the church for the gift items. This is coming even as the State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Elisha Ogundi declared three days fasting and prayers for divine intervention in the salary palaver in the state.
Ogundiya also called on churches to donate generously to members as palliative to the salaries crisis in the state.
Ogundiya who spoke during a quarterly meeting of the association held at the Holy Ghost Power Assembly, Worldwide, Ogo-Oluwa, Osogbo noted that the salary crisis seriously calls for concern.
While distributing the food items and money to the workers at the church premises, the State Pastor of the Church, Pastor OlumuyiwaEmmanuel said the distribution is private and not public matter.
But Governor Rauf Aregbesola in a statement issued and signed by his media aide, Semiu Okanlawon said that the state will soon return to her golden era.
Aregbesola in the statement declared that his administration’s determination to wean the state from the culture of dependence on Federal Allocation was behind the haste with which his administration embarked on key programmes which have been lauded in and outside Nigeria.
The statement said the government’s approach to agriculture, industrialisation and tourism and massive infrastructure provision, were driven by the clear possibility that the sole reliance on the Federal Government for states’ survival would one day throw the country into an economic quagmire of immense proportion.
Assuring that before the end of June, workers would be paid their salaries, the statement said from the onset, the Aregbesola administration had set out to ensure that it energises the economy in such a way that proceeds from the economic activities and taxes from thriving companies in Osun would drive the economy and not the reliance on allocations from Abuja.
Okanlawon statement explained, “The dream has not gone awry and it is a clear vision that Osun must be on its feet, self-reliant and be a reference point in Nigeria. The race to ensure development within the first term of Aregbesola was informed by the fear of what is happening now.
“Aregbesola wanted an Osun that is self-reliant. That Osun, almost two decades after its creation, could not boast of tax-paying companies, speak volume about the magnitude of the works that awaited the Aregbesola administration.
“But he did not shy away from this task of industrialisation. Within his first term, his government had caused investors to bring up companies such as the Omoluabi Garment Factory, Osogbo, Adulawo/RLG Technology Company in Ilesa.
“Just last month, a leading telephone line company, Airtel, came to establish partnership with the Adulawo/RLG Company. These are aside the various agro-allied companies which have benefited from the growth schemes of the Aregbesola administration throughout the state.
“The government has also commenced aggressive drive for the development of the solid mineral sector with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with an Australian mining firm, Andalusian Mining Industry.
“It was in the same vein that the idea of an airport for aircraft maintenance was conceived.”
The statement reminded all that Aregbesola had said repeatedly that only a lazy administration would accept the tag of Osun as a “civil servant” state, as an excuse for not developing initiatives for industrialisation.
“To accept that our state must continue to survive on the meager inflow through what goes to the civil servants alone are to accept that we would continue to depend on external forces for our survival.
“We must work hard to give our people many choices. If you want to work in the civil service, it must be the choice that our people make on their own volition and not that there are no other choices regardless of their education, qualifications and expertise.”
The statement cited the instance of Lagos which today can pay its workers timely and still continue its development works.
“People must not forget that Lagos, in 1999 when former Governor Bola Tinubu took over, was generating a paltry sum. It was the ingenious interventions and immediate provisions of infrastructure that lured investors in to create various opportunities for the people and made tax administration much easier for what is now today’s Lagos. This feat can be repeated in Osun and other parts of Nigeria.”
The statement added that those making gains out of the criticism of Aregbesola fail to ponder over these facts adding that in spite of the lingering crisis, the administration will not loose focus.
The statement added the governor has come clean on the state of the finances of the state to ensure that nothing is hidden and to assure the people that despite the precarious situation, he is determined to restore the state to the era where his government paid salaries on the 25th of every month.