Ekiti Situation Has Worsened In Four Years, Says Governor-Elect, Fayemi
….Urges Fayose to prioritize payment of salaries
Ekiti State Governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has declared his readiness to tackle the multifarious problems confronting the Fountain of Knowledge.
He said the fiscal, economic and social conditions of the state have worsened in the last four years urging the cooperation of the people to lift Ekiti out of the woods.
Fayemi also advised the outgoing administration led by Governor Ayo Fayose to use 80 per cent of allocation to be received from the Federation Account to pay backlog of salary arrears owed workers before the October 16 handover.
He made the remarks on Wednesday at the inauguration of the 32-member Transition Committee to facilitate the smooth transfer of power from the outgoing government to the incoming regime.
The committee has former federal lawmaker, Senator Olu Adetunmbi as Chairman while retired Permanent Secretary, Mr. Deji Ajayi is the Secretary.
Fayemi noted that the transition committee was composed of tested, trusted and experienced personalities whose expertise would be needed in key sectors as the state transits from one administration to another.
The governor-elect appealed to the outgoing administration to cooperate with the committee in the interest of the people of the state and also urged civil servants to act in the interest of the people and not in the interest of any individual.
Recognizing the enormity of the task ahead of him after inauguration in October, Fayemi said he and the deputy governor-elect, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, are not repositories of knowledge and don’t have all answers to Ekiti problems.
He clarified that the Transition Committee should not been seen as the face of the cabinet of the incoming administration and they were not chosen to represent the interest of their council areas of origin.
This, according to him, explains why the expertise, knowledge and experience of the eminent citizens of the state chosen to work in the committee will be needed to provide the direction of governance.
Fayemi stressed that the recommendations of the committee will be far-reaching and serve as template to tackle the myriads of problems confronting Ekiti expressing dismay that the state had retrogressed in the last four years.
He said: “Our situation has gotten worse since we left government; it seems as if we are starting from scratch. We must hit the ground running when we are sworn in on October 16.
“We need to ameliorate the unfortunate situation our people have been put into. We have no reason to disappoint our people.
“The debt profile is one of the areas the committee will look into, the Debt Management Office, I suspect, has given us underestimation (on the debt profile).”
Fayemi added: “There is no reason why the outgoing administration should not cooperate with the transition committee.
“I really like to appeal to the outgoing administration to prioritize salary payment to civil servants and pensioners.
“The important thing now is, whatever that is coming to the state, 80 per cent of it should go into payment of the backlog of arrears of salaries. To me, that should be a priority.
“Let me say this, neither my Deputy Governor-elect, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi and myself considered ourselves as having repository of knowledge or have answers to all Ekiti’s problems, so we are relying on your wealth of experiences.
“In your report, tell us those things we should not lay our hands on at all. Also endeavour to indicate those things we can do to have immediate impact on our people when we assume office, which is the most important thing to the incoming government.
“If you look at the configuration of this committee, we have more financial experts with deep knowledge of fiscal issues. There are four former Commissioners, because finance is the main thing in Ekiti on the premise that our situations have worsened than we left it on October 2014.
“Our people are in serious mess, poverty has risen and we have to move fast and ameliorate their sufferings.
“I want to appeal to the present government, particularly the Ekiti workers to cooperate with the committee in the spirit of patriotism. They should think more about Ekiti interest than that of any individual.
“I see no reason why Fayose’s government would not want to cooperate with you, because this was what we did in 2014 and which the whole Nigeria commended”.
Responding, committee chair Adetunmbi said the team was aware of the huge task before it and craved the cooperation of the outgoing administration.
Adetunmbi said further: “We want to assure the good citizens of Ekiti State that we are not going to act as enemies or adversaries. We are going to be friendly and that we shall do for the benefit of our State.
“We are coming as friends, not as enemies; we expect maximum cooperation from them so that the new government can start without any hiccup.”