Ogun State: Workers call for improved welfare

Sekinat Opebiyi, Abeokuta

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As workers globally celebrated this year International Workers’ day, in Ogun State, South west Nigeria, the workers have called on the government to improve their welfare package.

The Ogun State chairman of Trade Union Congress, Akeem Lasisi, while addressing the workers’ plights, maintained that the Workers Day celebration was dedicated to the workers for their hard work, dedication and resilience to the economic development of the State.

Lasisi urged the state government to put labour issues as one of her major priorities also called on the Federal Government to address the current security and unemployment challenges, as well as the fuel subsidy issues, saying the union would continue to protect its members interest by engaging government constructively rather than embarking on unnecessary strikes.

The state Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ademola Hameed said the state government has performed creditably well in education, agriculture, health, housing and workers’ welfare, calling on the state government to implement the 40 percent increment to the state workers as done by the federal government.

Both Union Leaders urged the state government to fulfill agreements in Memorandum Of Outstanding signed with them.

Meanwhile, the Federal Controller of Labour, Mr. Itemoagbo Eshomounu, said workers as wealth creators have over the years, contributed to the socio-economic development of the country, emphasizing that the Federal Government has taken steps to address challenges facing workers in their places of work.

Similarly, the state Governor, Dapo Abiodun said his government was on the verge of implementing policies and programmes to enhance the health welfare package of the work force, while regular training and retraining to enhance productivity and improve service delivery in all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, would be intensified.

Governor Abiodun disclosed that his administration has paid N13 billion out of the N19 billion Global Deductions owed to the public servants in the state.

He also disclosed that his administration has paid N88.92 billion as pension for the state and local government retirees till date, assured that the outstanding of N6 billion global deductions would be paid in the coming month.

Governor Abiodun while addressing workers and members of Trade Unions in Abeokuta, the state capital, emphasize on the theme of the event “Workers’ Rights and Social Economic Rights, said that his administration understood workers’ plight and was working towards addressing them.

He said that his government has paid the sum of N4.1 billion as gratuities for both state and local government retirees, just as the quarterly release for pensioners had been increased from N500 million to N1 billion.

The Governor further disclosed that the minimum monthly pay for pensioners in the state had been increased from N5,000 to N10,000.

“The additional N700m wage bill initially affected our plan which was to settle all outstanding commitments with our work force. Let me reassure you that our administration will continue to explore various financial options rather than imposing additional taxes on the people.

“Amongst other initiatives, we have put in place an improved working environment for our Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Commencement of the year 2021 and 2022 promotion exercise of Civil Servants, provision of housing scheme for our workers: construction and allocation of Prince Court at Kemta Idi-Aba, Abeokuta and Kobape Estate, and newly constructed quarters for the Permanent Secretary at Laderin Estate, the Governor pointed out.

Parts of the welfare package for the workers, the Governor added, include the review upward by 100 percent car and motorcycle refurbishing loans, appointment of new Permanent Secretaries; Accountant-General, Solicitor-General, Principals-General and Tutor-General for seamless administration.

Abiodun, assured the workers that his administration would not renege on its promises or any understanding reached with the workers, as they are also stakeholders in the “Building our Future Together, agenda.

He hinted the workers with the plans of his administration in the next four years, saying, “The second phase of our administration, we will ensure the completion of infrastructural projects, we will focus on the provision of public utilities which would be the supply of portable water and uninterrupted power supply to our major towns and villages to make life more abundant for our people.

“We will be embarking on our energy transition implementation through our E-mobility scheme, a plan to convert all our motorcycles to electric powered and also our mass transit buses to being gas powered.

Highlights of the celebration was the march pass by various trade workers and unions in the state.









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