ALLEGED DIVERSION OF N20.9BN PARIS CLUB REFUND
By Dayo Johnson
Akure – WORKERS in Ondo State are on collision course with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for reportedly walking out on them at a meeting to deliberate on the alleged government diversion of the N20.9b Paris Club debt refund for the payment of their salary and pension arrears.
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu
This, the workers, while addressing newsmen in Akure, said happened after the governor had kept them waiting for over four hours at the Cocoa Conference Hall, Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure, the venue of the meeting. They gave a notice that they might down tools this week after briefing the entire workforce on the governor’s treatment to them.
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC Chairman in the state, Comrade Tayo Ogunleye, Trade Union Congress Chairman, Comrade Soladoye Ekundayo and Joint Negotiation Committee Chairman, Comrade Abel Oloniyo, took turns to speak on Akeredolu’s alleged action.
The workers alleged that the state government was working towards diverting the Paris Club refund released by the Federal Government to settle accumulated arrears of salary and pension.
Oloniyo said that the governor, after listening to them, just stood up and walked away.
“After we had spoken, Mr. Governor just stood up and walked out on us”, the JNC Chairman stated.
“Though, we are meeting to know the next line of action, we will communicate to our workers. It’s unexpected of a person who occupies a sensitive office to walk out on workers. We are major stakeholders but governor has made a great mistake.
“On the Paris Club refund, we know that the money got to the account of Ondo State government, about N20.9billion; they did not even inform us; not until we got the information about it three weeks ago and we confronted the state government and they were saying that it has been withdraw back by the CBN.
“ We are suspecting that government is not sincere with the money, if they are sincere they should address journalists on the matter”.
On his part, Ekundayo said Akeredolu’s action” is just a confirmation of our suspicion that the state government has perfected plans to divert the Paris Club refunds.