The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, has said the Osun State Government might be unable to sustain its current wage bill let alone pay the new N30, 000 minimum wage unless it overhauls the civil service.
The monarch spoke in Iwo at the grand finale of a quiz competition organised for public secondary schools in Osun West senatorial district by a non-governmental organisation, AENON Foundation.
The royal father, who expressed concern about the new minimum wage bill passed by the Senate, while many states were still struggling to pay N18, 000 to the least paid workers, said the state civil service was over-bloated and needed a complete overhaul.
Oba Akanbi said, “Osun is sick. The governor, Oyetola, may not be able to say this truth because he is a politician. But I am a royal father. I should be good to tell the truth always. It will be tough for the state to pay the new minimum wage, unless there is a complete overhaul of the civil service.
“The current wage bill of the state government cannot be sustained. The civil service needs overhaul. A situation whereby 26 drivers will be attached to two vehicles must stop.”
As part of ways out of the situation, the royal father said unproductive civil servants must be made productive by government and be deployed where their skills would be useful.
He added, “Also, aggressive revenue generation through internally generated revenue, especially from the informal sector, would be of help to government.”
The state governor, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr Festus Olajide, commended the monarch for speaking the truth about the state’s financial situation, urging well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the Chairman of Aenon Foundation, Mr Ademola Adedapo, by partnering with government in meeting the people’s needs.
In his remarks, Adedapo said 98 secondary schools across Osun-West senatorial district started the competition. He assured the people that the organisers would continue to invest in education to enable pupils to realise their full potential.