It was a gloomy situation for the civil servants in ondo state as Governor Rotimi Akeredolu pays them 50% of their November salaries over the weekend. The workers who were being owed about three to four months salary arrears hitherto, were expecting at least 2 months out of these debts to be paid at the end of this January. However, alerts trooping in could only confirm that only half of the arrears for November alone was being paid admidst stark economic realities on ground; increased fuel and virtually all other commodities prices, outstanding bills for rents and children school fees, medicals and various loans needing to be serviced. Respite seems not to be anywhere near the corner as the Governor has not in any way promised as to when the balances and remaining arrears would be cleared, neither is the body language reassuring.
Present times have not been the best for people in the state. Artisans, business and market women, commercial motor vehicles and okada riders have all been lamenting a sharp fall in sales and patronages as a result of the impoverishment of the State where majorities of the residents are civil servants. It’s pathetic.
But one would be left to ponder on what has actually befallen the Government purse, if neighbouring States( Osun ,Edo and Ekiti) have not been treating their workers this way, still bearing in mind Ondo State is oil producing. Maybe it’s time to call on the Federal Government for yet another bailout funds, grants or any form of rescue because situation is obviously very bad for the civil servants who most often have no other means of income. Or how would they foot their bills? the primary and secondary school teachers with three to four children to cater for, the aged pensioners needing money for medicals, the health workers toiling night and day to combat the covid19 pandemic, the tertiary school students waiting on their both civil servants parents to get money for the new school resumption, Where’s the leeway make up?
Urgent help and intervention is needed in Ondo state because depression is very real, hunger is unpalatable, insecurities alarming, crime rate is getting higher and so does the rate of prostitution. Mr Governor should please find a lasting solution.