Governor Aregbesola promises better future for workers

Yinka Salaam, Osogbo

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State says the present economic challenges in Nigeria will soon become history and workers will receive better pay through the combined efforts of President Muhammad Buhari and the Nigeria Governors Forum.

Aregbesola gave this assurance at the May Day rally held in Osogbo in commemoration of global Workers Day.

He noted that the state’s present paucity of fund could not be divorced from alleged corruption and mismanagement of past administrations that “messed up the oil revenue.”

The governor commended the workers for their support since the beginning of economic crisis, saying most of the giant strides his administration would not have been possible but for the support of the workers.

“Our administration has successfully constructed 840 Kilometers of roads more than 18 Model Schools has been commissioned; we are feeding over 250,000 students daily; all these could not have been possible without the support and cooperation of workers.

Despite the hard time, road construction is still ongoing and we are still sustaining most of our social services through the support of the workers and their sacrifice for the development of the state,” he stated.

The governor also announced the re-naming of Olaiya-Odi Olowo-Ita Olokan road, currently being constructed, as “Workers Drive”, to immortalize the current generation of workers for their sacrifice in the state’s development.

Aregbesola denied the rumour that bailout meant for workers salary had been diverted and that his government had been by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), describing it as the imagination of opposition.

He explained that the condition for the released bailout was to pay salaries, and it could not have been possible for anyone to divert the fund against the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria. (CBN).

In an address, the Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC Comrade Jacob Adekomi said the labour was celebrating its survival despite economic crunches since 2015 which resulted in unpaid backlogs of salaries.

He nevertheless demanded better payment, especially for workers above level 8, as well as in payment of pensions and gratuities.

Adekomi also urged the government to reconsider the sacked workers in the four state-owned tertiary Institutions.

He also assured the governor that the congress would continue to employ dialogue and constructive engagement to chart better course for the workers.

Workers’ concerns

Meanwhile, the chairman of a faction of the state NLC, Mr. Yusuf Gambi has criticized the state government for paying workers’ modulated salaries since July 2015.

Addressing workers at a different rally in Osogbo, Gambi described as unfortunate a situation workers where workers are always at the receiving end whenever there is an financial challenge.

He criticized the government for executing capital projects while allowing workers to lament in penury due to modulated salaries.

He said workers were not against execution of capital projects but doing so at the detriment of the workers, who were the geese laying the golden eggs was wrong.

Gambi maintained that the N56,000 minimum wage proposed by the NLC for workers was realizable and should by approved to alleviate the suffering of the Nigerian workers.

The factional Chairman said the organized labour union is in support of the anti-corruption drive of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

He also lauded the President for his seriousness in tackling the problem of boko haram, saying considerable peace had since been restored in the North East.