Oyo in debt as it sets to pay N3.7bn wage arrears to sacked LG Council Chairmen, Others

The Oyo State Government has been plunged into serious debt following the Supreme Court verdict that ordered the refund of all allowances and salaries of the sacked council officials in Oyo State with the estimate running to about N3.7 billion, LEADERSHIP reports.

The elected Chairmen under the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) sued the Oyo State Government for terminating their appointments despite having two years left in office.

The N3.7bn is for salaries and entitlements for 68 chairmen, 68 vice chairmen and 610 councillors, democratically elected in the 33 local government areas and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).

But a senior official of the Oyo State government who spoke with LEADERSHIP on the condition of anonymity because of he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said that the figure was incorrect as the state government had done its own computations.

He therefore, asked that Nigerians should wait for the state government’s official position on the Supreme Court judgment to be announced by the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice this Monday.

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Meanwhile, according to data obtained from salaryscale.com, each of the 68 chairmen is entitled to N3,181,611 salaries and allowances per annum, while each vice chairman is entitled to N2,803,392 in salaries and allowances. Each of the councillors is entitled to N2.4 million per annum. This does not cover severance packages.

A rough estimate of the debt, which the apex court ordered the governor to pay by August, shows that while chairmen will rake in an average of N432.6 million, vice chairmen will receive N381.2 million. The over 600 councillors will receive N2.9billion, bringing it to an estimated N3.7billion.

After the judgment the Oyo State Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Abbass Aleshinloye, opined that the Supreme Court judgement confirmed the association’s position that Governor Makinde has no respect for the rule of law.

In his words, he said: “We are happy with the judgement and it affirmed that what we have been saying that the Government has no respect for the rule of law”

“It also shows its recklessness because we have been saying that the illegal arrangement of appointing caretaker committee members is wrong. He has been paying them the same money we will collect again. Oyo State is the loser.”

Recall that the former chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors had assumed office on May 14, 2018 after their electoral victories on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while Governor Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), within hours of his swearing-in on May 29, 2019, sacked them by fiat, saying their election violated the constitution

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