The Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration has insisted that it is not owing the protesting workers of the defunct Edo State College of Education, Ekiadolor.
It noted that salary arrears owed at the termination of the immediate past government have been cleared.
Mr. Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, in a statement on Friday, said the protest is politically motivated by interests bent on embarrassing the government.
In his words: “It must be stated that the Edo State Government is not owing the protesting workers of the defunct Edo State College of Education, Ekiadolor. The six months arrears owed by the immediate past administration have been cleared.
“In good faith and taking into cognizance the need to sustain their families while the workers settle into other colleges of education in other parts of the state, the government continued subvention to the schools.
“The Federal Government has since taken over the institution which has been converted into a Federal College of Education (Technical), which would kick off academic programmes in October.”
He noted that the genesis of the travails of the workers started when the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led government was winding up and decided to convert the school into a university to be known as Tayo Akpata University of Education, but had no contingency plan to cater for the workers in the new arrangement.
The governor’s aide said: “The state government at that time introduced a financing policy that provides for the state to subvent the school with 65% of salaries while the college sourced the remaining 35% from its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). With the stoppage of admissions into the school, it could no longer raise its meagre 35% part of the financing arrangement.
“At the end of that government, the arrears had piled to 6 months, which was inherited and cleared by Governor Obaseki. The government continued to pay the workers the subvention, with a tranche paid only two weeks ago.
“With this, it is obvious the protests are orchestrated as the government has been magnanimous enough to pay workers who are no longer working, as the school has been shut for a while. The political actors preying on these innocent persons to advance their interest must be exposed for their true intentions.”