Labour leaders in Osun on Thursday, 1st May, 2014, unanimously described the perennial salary delay in the past six months as a nationwide problem and not peculiar to Osun State alone.
The Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Saka Adesiyan at this year’s May Day celebration at The Government Technical College in Osogbo, southwest Nigeria, told workers that the delay in payment of salaries is not peculiar to Osun alone.
This was even as the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola enjoined Nigerians to call on all security agencies in Africa particularly the neighbouring countries to join forces with the Nigeria Army to put an end to the activities of Boko Haram.
Aregbesola called on all to condemn in totality the inhuman act of seizing innocent children for whatever cause, wondering why should children who ought to be protected by all should be the subject of attack.
“Let all security agencies in Africa rally round their Nigeria counterpart to put an end to this criminality. I want to use this opportunity to join the parents of these children in asking God to put an end to the menace of Boko Haram,” the Governor stressed.
He urged workers in the state to make deliberate efforts to increase productivity in service to the people.
The Governor noted that If Osun is to sustain its transformation strides and break newer grounds in good governance for the wellness of the people, workers must function effectively.
Aregbesola held that his administration’s commitment to professionalisation of the State Civil Service, has endeared it to covering more grounds in its quest to modernise the Service for optimal performance and in the best tradition of the 21st Century.
He noted that Osun placed high premium on human resources development for the vast contributions it can make to the realisation of the administrations set objectives.
The Governor added that, to ensure that the capacities of workers in the state are handsomely improved and purposefully developed, government is devoted to the welfare and well-being of all categories of workers in the state within the ambit of its resources.
According to Aregbesola, “You will recall that recently, cheques were distributed for car refurbishment loans. Notwithstanding the unexpected huge shortfall in federal allocation to the state, we have been striving hard to keep up with our statutory financial obligations to our workers.
“Leave bonuses, 13th month bonus which has increased from 20 per cent to 100 per cent, and payment of pension arrears among other entitlements have been prompt. I have recently approved the Housing Equipment/Mortgage Scheme Programme for Civil Servant Cooperative Societies, both at the State and Local Government Levels and Labour Unions.
“The mortgage side of the scheme enables government workers to own houses of their own, while the equipment side enables them to acquire household equipment and appliances of their choice with friendly repayment terms.
“The programme is another demonstration of my administration’s commitment to improve the Standard of living of government workers in the State of Osun”.
Aregbesola described the drop in federal allocation to states as cruel and unjustified, saying it is egregious and unacceptable.
“There is no other way to view this setback in view of the tormenting impediments it causes states and their dependents, not least their workers.
“There is just no acceptable logic in the fact that allocations dwindle while oil revenue accruable to the nation does not drop from about the $108 per barrel that it is. Startlingly, those managing our affairs in Abuja still tell us that their benchmark is $75 per barrel. This cruelty has to stop. It is hurtful and senseless,” he stressed.
Aregbesola also described the statement by the state former Head of Service, Elder Segun Akinwusi that the Governor is planning on retrenching workers as unfounded, mischievous and satanic lies.
The Governor wondered how can a government, which just concluded employing workers in the junior and senior categories be planning to sack the next month?
“How can we employ people today and retrench them the next month? It just doesn’t add up. He is free to practice his bad politics but he should keep the hard working, loyal and dedicated workers of the state out of it,” the Governor asked.
Earlier in his welcome speech, the Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Saka Olalere Adesiyan, commended the Governor for his outstanding performance in the last three and half years.
Adesiyan identified road construction as one singular massive effort across the state, imploring the Governor to ensure speedy completion of these roads projects in other to end the hardship people are going through.
Adesiyan said the visionary leadership of the Governor is in no doubt judging from the achievement on ground.
He listed turnaround brought to education sector with the school re-classification; provision of teaching aids such as the tablet of knowledge and feeding of elementary school pupils; payment of 100 percent of the basic salary 2013 end of the year for the entire workers in the state; upgrade of state health institutions for prompt healthcare delivery and the introduction of interactive public feed-back programme tagged Gbangba Deku, which afford the entire people of the state to interact with governor face to face.
He said: “We commend Mr. Governor’s effort in the area of road construction. We salute him for the visionary and dynamic step in the education sector.
“Before your assumption of office, education in the state was in shambles. Now our schools wear new looks that is conducive for teaching and learning. We believe this will enhance productivity on the part of the teachers and encourage learning on the part of the pupils.
“We cannot but praise the doggedness and wisdom exhibited by the Governor for his various efforts at making Osun peaceful in all facets of live.”
Adesiyan called on the Governor to take a pragmatic step in resolving the problems arising from contributory pension scheme of the workers, saying this unresolved problem has been giving workers sleepless night.
In his own speech, the Chairman of the state chapter of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Oladele Francis Adetunji, while commending the Governor for his numerous achievements, particularly the restoration of peace and security in the State of Osun. He however, lamented the state of insecurity in the country.
Adetunji called on security agencies to brace up for challenges of nipping the Boko Haram insurgency in the bud so as to end the nightmare of insecurity of lives and property in some parts of the country.
“We commend the efforts of our Governor for painstakingly bringing and maintaining peace in the state. No wonder the State of Osun is being referred to as the most peaceful state in the country.
“Let me acknowledge the fact that some of the achievements of the governor since his assumption of office will remain indelible in the memories of not only the workers but also the people of the state,” Adetunji said