• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Osun adopts innovative approach to salary payment

Osun adopts innovative approach to salary payment
Determined to enhance the social and economic well being of its citizen, maintain an active civil service as well as ensure a healthy human capital development, the Osun State government recently evolved an innovative approach to paying the salaries of its workers.
Known as modulated salary structure, this innovative approach to the salary paid by the state government is also aimed to tackle extreme poverty in the state by giving top consideration to low-income earners who, unarguably, are the most vulnerable to adverse conditions in an economy.
 “The modulated salary structure evolved by Governor Rauf Aregbesola is a turning point, which has systematically cleared the backlog of unpaid salaries and ensures that the government continues to pay salaries as at when due”, explained Bola Oyebamiji, the state’s Commissioner for Finance, in a statement at the weekend.
Oyebamiji explained further that with the modulated salary, workers on salary grade levels one to seven, who constitute 67 per cent of the workforce, are paid full salaries, while those on grade levels eight to 12, representing 25 per cent of the workforce, receive 75 per cent of their salaries. Workers on grade levels 13 to 17, a mere 8 per cent of the workforce, as well as all political appointees, receive 50 per cent of their salaries.
The modulated salary structure came as a child of necessity, which the state adopted, painfully though, as a response to its financial realities. Besides tackling the problem of irregular payment of salaries, the approach was also adopted because of the state’s desire to provide massive infrastructure, develop the state economically and transform Osogbo into a modern state capital.
The state government has stayed true to this structure and to the agreement it has with the labour union to avoid job losses. Oyebamiji said that all payments have been made till date; taxes were applied only payments made and that all pensioners are also paid with this modulated salary structure.
Like many other states in the country, Osun had to contend with the challenge of 100 per cent in its wage bill from N1.1 billion in 2010 to N2.2 billion in 2012 when the Federal Government negotiated a unilateral and blanket minimum wage on behalf of all states.
“By October 2014 when the price of crude oil crashed, Osun like many others, started having a backlog of unpaid salaries”, Oyebamiji recalled, noting that as a result of this, many states became fiscally unstable due to shortfall in federally collected revenues, hence the state’s revenue projections suffered a setback, affecting its capacity to repay its debts.
But, according to the commissioner, from August 2015 till now, the prudent management of concessionary loan (bailout) and revenues generated by the state government has ensured salaries are paid and workers keep their jobs, rather than embark on mass retrenchment.
The leadership of the state’s labour union has confirmed this. Babatunde Jacob Adekomi, chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Osun State chapter, said the union has thrown its weight behind the modulated salary, acknowledging recently that the state government had paid outstanding salaries of all workers in line with the agreement between it and the labour union.
Adekomi disclosed that the leadership of the union had earlier reached a compromise with the state government on the disbursement of the second tranche of Paris Club Refunds to offset the balance of the modulated salaries.
“The Aregbesola administration has been highly sensitive to the plight of workers; a development that has made Osun State stand out among its peers when the recession set in; I always wonder why some people feel that the best way to gain attention is to concoct lies. I am a civil servant and I can never say what I don’t see or have knowledge about,” the union chairman said.
Continuing, he said, “it is on record that this government had been meeting up its salary obligations to workers before the recession set‎ in and it is practically difficult to continue in such spirit. But since we (government and workers) mutually reached a compromise that resulted in modulated salaries for some categories of workers, the state has been up to its responsibilities”.
The state government is also embarking on infrastructure development, which is why Oyebamiji says the modulated salary structure has proved to be a huge success when the ongoing large infrastructure outlay is considered and the benefits accruing to the average citizens of the state.