Getting Osun State To Work Again: 12 Things Aregbesola Can Do

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Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola
Bayo Adeyinka
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Bayo Adeyinka

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It is no longer news that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is owing the 40,000 strong Osun State Civil Servants 7 months salaries. One of the saddest piece of news I read on this issue was the appeal for donation of food items meant for the public workers by the Pastor of Winners Chapel last Sunday. I also read of civil servant who almost committed suicide because of his inability to meet his obligations. I’m still waiting for what the Osun State House of Assembly (APC cleared 24 out of the 26 seats) will do about this issue. Whatever the case, it’s clear Ogbeni does not have a solution to this matter and he needs urgent help. It’s very shocking that just a few days ago, he was still gloating and he referred to himself as a ‘performer’. The situation calls for less politicking and more of creative thinking.

Here are a few things I think should be done to solve this ‘wahala’…

1. Pay Grade 1-7 all outstanding immediately. With the N1.5b monthly IGR of Osun State, I do hope this can be done. Grade 1-7 form the bulk of the civil service and they bear the greatest brunt of this problem.
2. Pro-rate for Grade levels 8-12. As a suggestion three months salaries can be paid.
3. Grade Levels 13-17 can be sorted thereafter. These are the ‘big boys’ and most of them have other sources of income anyway.
4. There must be a re-allocation and re-alignment of scarce resources. It is my opinion that Aregbe should temporarily halt the feeding of 500,000 pupils until the State finances improve. That should free up the state’s Cashflow.
5. Immediately cut the salaries and allowances of political appointees including himself and also persuade the legislators to follow suit.
6. Grant those with outstanding PAYE and other taxes up to 20% waiver if they pay up within 30 days. Or else take immediate legal actions against such people and businesses after the grace period.
7. Grant massive discount on charges for Certificate of Occupancy issuance within a window period. Encourage people to regularize their documents at a rebate.
8. Levy a special tax assessment on people with more than one property in Osun State. The rich should help to bear the burden of the poor.
9. Re-structure and reschedule all existing debt obligations by at least 18 months so as to free up cash-flow.
10. I don’t see the wisdom in Osun State handling 2 State Universities (LAUTECH & Osun State University). The salary obligations to the workers in both Universities and the usual grants will be outrageous. Osun State should cede LAUTECH to Oyo State.
11. Immediately introduce PPP arrangement on some major road and urban renewal projects embarked upon so that they don’t become abandoned projects.
12. Aregbe has no choice than to eventually streamline the State Civil Service as I don’t see how the State can afford to expend such huge resources on just about 1% of its population. He can afford to play politics with this but this is something that should be done. He’s doing his second term so this should not be difficult for him to do. The alternative here is to outsource non-essential services to some corporations and organizations.

For all the South West States of Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti, they need to explore a ‘shared civil service’ system with a hub in Ibadan. The shared system will ensure non-duplication of efforts and will drastically reduce costs. I am sure this will work as it secures cost savings and sustainable efficiencies through economies of scale. Something similar has been implemented in the Gauteng Province in South Africa. Gauteng is one of the nine provinces in South Africa with a population of about 12.3m people and is considered the economic hub of South Africa. The province includes Johannesburg, Pretoria, Midrand, Centurion and Sandton among others. The Gauteng Shared Services Centre established in 2001, brought together the support functions of about eleven departments in the Public Service such as Human Resources, Procurement Services, Technology Support Services, Financial Services and Internal Audit Services among others. It’s the first public sector shared service centre in Africa and the achievements are worth noting and studying. Last year alone, the GSSC as it is popularly known achieved cost savings of 100m rand- an equivalent of at least N1.6b. There is so much that can be done with that amount of savings.

The solutions don’t come easy but something has to be done now.

This post was written by Bayo Adeyinka.

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of African News Today. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s). African News Today will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.

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