‘We are committed to workers’ welfare -State Government
The Ogun state government has expressed surprise and regret at the decision of a few workers in the state. ENCOMIUM Weekly learnt that the workers are yet to resume duties as ordered by the state government.
In a press release made available to ENCOMIUM Weekly on Thursday, March 10, 2016 and signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa, Ogun state pledged its commitment to workers’ welfare. He therefore urged the striking civil servants and doctors to resume work immediately.
The statement reads in part, “We are at a loss as to what this small and unpopular group of workers in the state civil service really want to achieve as Ogun is currently one of the few states in the federation that is able to pay workers’ salaries as and when due, in spite of the current economic down turn.
“Despite the current financial crisis affecting the country, salaries have been paid up to February 2016, for all categories of workers in the state.”
He added, “In spite of the fact that Ogun state is one of the states that receives the least allocation from the federation account, it pays the highest wages to workers in Nigeria. It is the only state in the country that implemented the minimum wage across board for both the public and civil servants and local government employees from grade levels 1 to 17. Therefore, what the government expects from its workforce at this difficult period in Nigeria is understanding rather than individual action.
“For instance, the Federal Allocation for Ogun state in February 2016 was N1.2 billion while that of local government was N1.7 billion but the wage bill for the state stands at about N9 billion.”
In view of this harsh economic reality, Barrister Adeoluwa said, “The few misguided striking workers are simply playing the ostrich and pushing an insensitive argument which seems to suggest that the resources of a state with a population of over seven million people should be totally devoted to the payment comfort of civil servants whose population is less than 50,000. The state government therefore warns that this group of few uncooperative workers to henceforth desist from physically preventing vast majority of its workforce who turned up for work and are willing to continue with their lawful duties.”
Meanwhile, on Monday, March 7, 2016, government and other activities were grounded across Ogun state as civil servants stayed away from work in compliance with the directive of the Joint National Public Negotiating Council (JNC).
Leaders of the union in the state were at the entrance to the state secretariat in Oke Mosan and other offices as early as 8am to ensure strict compliance with the directive. The entire secretariat was deserted by workers while few civil servants were seen at their duty posts.
Schools, students and teachers resumed early for the day’s work but later dispersed. Reports across the 20 council areas in the state had it that local government workers also obeyed the strike order.