By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti—AS a result of the dwindling federal allocation to Ekiti State and its attendant negative effects on the economy of the state, Governor Ayodele Fayose, has said the state will soon convoke an Economic Summit where solutions are expected to be proffered to the economic challenges facing the state.
He said the summit has become necessary in view of the huge debt burden inherited by his administration and the dwindling statutory allocations from Abuja.
He stated this in Oye-Ekiti during a Village Square Meeting with people and leaders of communities in Ekiti North Senatorial District.
In a statement on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, the summit would hold after the resolution of the ongoing industrial action by workers in the state.
According to the governor, participants in the summit would be drawn from all the sectors cutting across organised labour, various trade groups, politicians, academicians because the money coming to the state and the money generated by it is meant for all Ekiti people not only a particular group.
“During the summit, everybody will have the opportunity to bring ideas on how to navigate the pool of huge debts the previous administration has put the state and what to do with whatever we realise as income or statutory allocations. This is necessary because whatever we have is for all Ekiti people.
“We are sensitizing the people of the state on our financial situation and the realities we need to face. The strike embarked upon by workers is uncalled for.
They are aware of what comes to the state on monthly basis. A committee, of which labour leaders are members, shares the monthly allocation that comes to the state. There is nothing hidden from them.
“It is not that we have not been meeting with the workers to resolve the matter. Government team have met them seven times.
Veteran labour leaders have met them four times.
Traditional rulers have also met them a couple of times on the same issue.
“If the strike has no political undertone, why are the workers behaving as if they don’t know the facts on ground? Some states are even owing more than Ekiti and workers there are still on their beats. I plead with them to know that we have no other state than Ekiti and we must protect her interest.
“Money that came for local governments is available for the payment of workers salaries but because they are on strike that can’t be processed yet. Let them call off the strike for us to chart a way forward,” he said.
Responding to a question that he ought to have opposed the screening of former Governor Kayode Fayemi as a minister based on the huge debts he left behind, Fayose said he did not need to play politics of bitterness against anybody, adding that posterity would judge all.
In his contributions, the Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Michael Ademolaju said the two parties must come to the round table and dialogue to resolve the matter.
He noted that the state was losing revenue internally as a result of the strike and that it would have negative effects on the economy of the state.
The meeting was attended by people from Ikole, Oye, Moba, Ilejemeje and Ido/Osi local government areas of the state.