By Timothy Alao, Osogbo
The Governor of the State of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, has announced the immediate implementation of welfare packages for all categories of workers in the State.
The Governor also approved the immediate implementation of Minimum Wage, lifting of ban on Annual Salary Increment and embargo placed on promotions and conversions since 2012.
The implementation of welfare packages will commence in November 1st, 2020.
This was even as the Governor reaffirmed his Administration’s commitment to workers-oriented policies and general well-being.
Governor Oyetola made the announcement on Friday in his office, State Government Secretariat, Abere, while meeting with the labour leaders in the State.
Oyetola said the implementation of the welfare packages was in fulfilment of the electioneering promises made to the workers while seeking office.
He disclosed that the new development would cost the State an additional N750 million in monthly wage bill.
The Governor who recalled the pocket of socio-economic challenges inherited by his administration, said “despite these stifling challenges, we remained resolute to fulfil our promises to workers as a welfare-oriented government”.
Oyetola stated further that the Administration has been working assiduously to take the State out of economic woods and set it on the lane of economic transformation, growth, development and prosperity.
To meet up with the numerous demands of the workers in the face of economic challenges, Oyetola said his Administration had earlier set up the Government/Labour Committee to work out the modalities for resolving all workers’ welfare-related issues, including the minimum wage.
He said, “You will all recall that, despite the raging economic challenges when we came into office in 2018, we resolved as an Administration to give the welfare of our workers the deserved attention.
“As you all know, we came into office in the heat of strident economic challenges necessitated by oil price shocks, debilitating monthly allocations and lean internally generated revenue. We also inherited arrears of pension, embargo on promotion and conversion, ban on annual salary increment since 2012, among others.
“While we were still battling with these ominous challenges, the Federal Government approved minimum wage in response to Labour agitation. But despite these stifling challenges, we remained resolute to fulfill our promises to workers as a welfare-oriented government.
“During the presentation of the 2019 Budget, our maiden budget, I promised that late-payment of workers’ salaries would be a thing of the past. We continue to fulfill this promise to date. We are also delivering service and projects since we came into power about two years ago.
“With the implementation of the New Minimum Wage, I wish to state that the action we have taken today would bring an additional N750million cost to our monthly wage bill.
“Part of our strategies for getting by in this harsh economic environment was the introduction of fiscal discipline through cutting of wastes, plugging excesses as well as adopting creativity in governance. We are also working hard to increase the revenue of our State.”
Governor Oyetola who described the workers as valuable assets to the socio-economic growth and development of the state, applauded them for their selflessness, commitment and diligence.
He urged them to increase on their productivity and support the government in its efforts to improve the Internally Generated Revenue.
Oyetola said, “I appreciate our Labour Leaders and the entire Labour Family, our allies in the race to the delivery of stellar services to our people, for your selflessness, understanding, perseverance, industry and love for State.
“You are the reasons why, in spite of the economic storms, Osun still remains strong and outstanding in the comity of States.
“Let me say that Osun is passing through the valley of economic challenges and we have proved every inch of the way that we are stronger than the storm.
“I therefore appeal to us to take advantage of the welfare packages that we have introduced to double our efforts to take the State out of economic woods and set it on the lane of economic transformation that we began together two years ago.”
Earlier, State Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Jacob Adekomi, had lauded Governor Oyetola for running workers-friendly government since assumption of office.
Adekomi said the approval and implementation of the welfare packages would go a long way to rekindle the workers’ hope and reinvigorate their morale.
Those in attendance include: the Deputy Governor, Benedict Alabi; Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Charles ‘Diji Akinola; Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade; some cabinet members, State Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Adebowale Adekola; Chairman Joint Negotiating Council, Comrade Bayo Adejumo, among others.