Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has promised that with the expected refund of the Paris Club excess deduction, pensioners and workers in the state’s public service will celebrate the yuletide with smiles.
According to a statement on Friday, the governor made the promise in his address during the Mawlid an-Nabi, which is the celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, at the Government House in Ibadan on Friday.
Ajimobi, who said he was pained by the cash crunch that had made regular payment of salaries and pensions impossible, expressed optimism that the state would be able to pay at least two months salaries, out of the three months arrears, before the coming celebrations.
With a workforce of more than 40,000, which he said was one of the largest in the country, the governor said that the administration had been very prudent in the management of the dwindling revenue accruing to the state.
Ajimobi said, “Let me assures citizens that we will spend the Paris Club excess deduction refund being expected from the Federal Government prudently. We have that record of spending past refunds and budget support fund judiciously.
“We are ruling this state with the fear of God, and I’m confident that those who are yet to come to terms with my positive interventions will sing my praise at the end of my tenure. Those abusing me today out of lack of understanding will celebrate me tomorrow.”
On the essence of the Prophet’s birthday celebration, the governor said it was an occasion to remind the people of the need to love and respect one another and fear only the Almighty in all their endeavours.
An Islamic preacher, Sheikh Muyideen Bello, and the Chairman of the state’s Muslim Community, Alhaji Kunle Sanni, said that Ajimobi deserved all the praise and admiration he had so far received from the Islamic faithful.