Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
Flowing from the new found love and agreement reached with the workers in the employment of the Oyo State Government, the state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, last night promised a new deal with the state workforce with an assurance that all the agreement reached with their labour leaders would be carried out to the letters without any hindrance.
To this end, the governor, through the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Olalekan Alli, said no going back in devoting 100 percent monthly federal allocation to the state for the payment of the workers’ salaries forthwith.
The SSG also reaffirmed the governor’s pledge to financial transparency and accountability in running the affairs of the state as monthly allocations would henceforth be published for the public to know how much accrues to government purse in a manner that is unprecedented in the history of the state, starting from next allocation.
Workers in the state last Monday night called off their seven week strike. The state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had directed its members to proceed on the strike over unpaid salaries and pensions.
However to underscore the government’s seriousness to henceforth engage its teeming workforce in dialogue and mutual understanding, Ajimobi stated that although his administration has once again been vindicated in its efforts at promoting best practices and good governance by throwing open the books in the course of the negotiations and deliberations at the various meetings of the Government/Labour Committee on Unpaid Salaries, Wages and Pensions, he also added that this has facilitated a better understanding and appreciation of the government’s position with labour having a better insight into the financial standing of the state.
According to the SSG, “Henceforth, the income and expenditure statement of the state will be made public on a monthly basis to forestall misinformation, misunderstanding and misinterpretations of government’s financial profile.
“A holistic and realistic solution will be jointly proffered to the issue of utilising available funds for subsequent payment of salaries and pensions bearing in mind the dedication of 100 percent allocation from Federation Account to payments of salaries and pensions.
Alli said this is in furtherance of the government’s commitment to financial transparency and accountability.
The SSG who commended the labour for the maturity exhibited during the negotiations also said the dialogue between labour and government would be a continuous one aimed at resolving outstanding issues pertaining to salaries, wages and pensions in the state and enhancing the welfare of the workforce in the state.