Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Thursday said government will try and make sure it does not owe workers their salaries.
Akeredolu made this promise while receiving report of Committee on Arrears of Salaries of Public Servants in Akure.
He said the present administration does not have any other option but to pay salaries.
Akeredolu expressed hope that the workers would waive the outstanding salary arrears as part of their contributions to development.
“If they meet and say they waived two months, we will be glad but if they insist on having the full arrears, we thank them and will look for ways of paying.
“The government will continue to try and make sure we don’t owe them salaries”, he said.
The governor also said the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), needed to be increased very soon to tackle the salary arrears.
“Before we present our budget and after presentation, I will have to address the workers to let them know that it’s not possible to use all our money to pay salaries.
“We have said this many times, we must be prepared to make sacrifices because we don’t borrow money to pay salaries, something must be done.
“I thank the people for their efforts and resilience. I know it’s not easy, but it’s also getting increasingly difficult for the government too; but whatever we do, we will try not to owe salaries”, he said.
Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi said the salary arrears owed workers by the previous administration amounted to ₦38.57 billion.
“This is not inclusive of the ₦41.5 billion representing outstanding gratuities.
“We came in on Feb. 24, we paid February, March, April salaries and also one month out of the six months salaries owed by the past government.
“Right now, what is outstanding is N34.5 billion which is like I said, outside the N41.5 billion, representing outstanding gratuities across the board.
”What the government is owing now is N34.5 billion, representing five months salaries as against the six months we met on board”, he added.
He, however, commended the governor for promising to offset the salaries as soon as money was available.
The committee was inaugurated on March 7 to deliberate and report on ways of offsetting seven months’ salary arrears owed by the previous administration.