EKITI State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has told the people of the state to tighten their belts and prepare to weather the economic downturn resulting from fall in the price of oil in the international market which he predicted would become more severe next year.
The governor, who spoke in Efon during a sensitisation tour of local councils in the state, said this year’s budget performed poorly because it was predicated on $68 per barrel, while it sold much lower, noting that there would be more financial challenges to cope with if the trend continues next year
This year’s budget did not meet expectations, especially in the area of capital expenditure because of the poor revenue coming in from oil sales in the international market. The oil now sells for less than $40 per barrel.
“Without being an economic expert, one can envisage a tough economic terrain next year. You know that I don’t hide things from you.
The other day, they said they have given out bail-out funds and I said it was not. It will amount to sheer deception for a leader to hide the true position of things from the people.
“We are heading for a serious financial challenge next year, as there seems to be little hope for the economy to bounce back. Our administration has always put our finances in the open for all to see. We are on this tour because we need to let you know what is happening. The power of the people is greater than the power of their leaders,” he said.
The governor said in response to the observations by workers, a department that would look into their complaints and follow up on their welfare would be set up at the Governor’s Office.
Fayose promised that the coming Christmas period would not be bleak for civil servants in the state, saying no effort would be spared to ensure that they get their salaries.
He solicited their understanding and cooperation, adding that the state government would, within available resources, give their welfare top priority.
The governor, who also visited Aramoko in Ekiti West local council ordered the setting up of a panel to look into the complaints by workers of over-deduction in their salaries concerning the payment for the laptops given teachers by the Fayemi administration.
He also assured pensioners that as soon as the Federal Government releases the remainder of the bail-out funds with regards to the local government, he would pay them.
Responding on behalf of the workers, Mr Asubiojo G.O and Mrs Anifowoshe R.O, commended the governor for his efforts at meeting their needs and improving their welfare.