Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has called the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, to a roundtable to discuss the issue of salary deductions.
Recall that there was a protest at the state secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan on Monday morning as workers demanded an upward review of their allowances, among other demands.
Reports disclosed that the workers also blocked the secretariat gate to express their grievances as they threatened further protest.
In a statement, however, issued by the Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade the Oyo State Government said only three months and not six months deductions are owed to workers.
While appealing to the workers to shelve any planned protest, the state government noted that every State in the federation owes workers salary deductions, and the three months owed by Oyo State is the least.
The Commissioner disclosed that the NLC had shown over the years that they are in support of the present administration because of good governance but asked them to reflect on the disposition of government to workers’ welfare.
“While the July salaries have been paid in Oyo State, not less than 20 states, including Ondo, Plateau, Benue and Bayelsa, are owing several months of salaries in arrears, while several more, including neighbouring states, are owing months of deduction arrears.
“The Oyo State Government started the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage three years ago, yet up till now, many states are still struggling to pay the old wage.
“While it is the Right and Entitlement of our workers to access their wages, especially at this tough time, Government implores them to reflect on the sincerity of purpose of this administration”, the statement reads.
The government noted that despite the challenges of paying wages, over 2,000 civil servants have been promoted, while almost 1,000 others have been converted to regular service.
“For the records, Oyo State pays N7.3bn monthly as salaries, yet collects N5bn as Federal Allocation.
“Because of this, all the N2.8bn raked in as Internally Generated Revenue IGR are ploughed back literally to service salaries”, Prince Oyelade noted, adding that the government deserves a pat on the back if, in spite of this tightrope Government still embarks on such a magnitude of infrastructural projects that even the NLC has applauded numerously.
He also noted that eminent pundits, including the current Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki have predicted that no state will be able to pay salaries by the end of June this year because of the worsening shape of the economy, but Oyo State, due to the deft husbanding of the state resources by Gov Seyi Makinde has defied the doomsday prediction.
“This is why the State Government is confident that the NLC will come to the negotiating table and, together with the Government, chart a realistic path in balancing the welfare of the workers to which the Government is obviously committed and the unpleasant economic indices that stare all of us in the face”Oyelade disclosed.
The Oyo State Government, hence, urged the workers to resume their duty posts and continue the good work they are known for.