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Akeredolu, Ondo workers disagree over leave bonus

Akeredolu, Ondo workers disagree over leave bonus

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Peter Dada, Akure

The Ondo State civil servants on Tuesday protested against the decision of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu not pay their leave bonuses until the state was buoyant financially to do so.

The mild protest took place at the Gani Fawehinmi Arcade, Akure, the state capital, during the May Day celebration, when the governor was addressing the workers.

Akeredolu, while addressing the workers, stated that the state was still passing through a difficult time economically but would pay workers’ 2017 leave allowances as soon as the government had the money.

He said, “For me to pay the leave allowance to you is when the government has the money to pay. I have to tell you this so that it will not be as if I didn’t tell you.”

But the governor’s statement infuriated the workers, and they shouted, “No! No ! No ! We no go gree o, we no go gree.”

As the protest was ongoing, some of the angry workers stood up in annoyance to leave the venue but the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress led by Mrs. Bosede Daramola and Mr. Soladoye Ekundayo respectively went to the angry workers to calm them down.

In spite of the intervention of the labour leaders, some of the workers still left the venue angrily.

However, in his speech, Akeredolu said, “I need not remind workers that this administration inherited a huge debt portfolio when it assumed office last year. It is also a notorious fact that a heavy burden of salary arrears of seven months was on the state.

“We promised to offset all arrears owed. We have been able to keep the promise, partly. Four months out of the seven months’ salary arrears owed have been paid so far. We have paid salaries till date.

“There has also been a monthly release of N200m to the Pensions and Transitional Department to offset backlog of gratuities of retired public servants who had served this state meritoriously. Pensions are also paid with salaries of workers.”

In her own address, the Ondo NLC Chairman, Daramola, urged the government not to overburden the workers with the new tax regime going on in the state.

“We agree that the state government needs to boost its revenue through taxes but the burden and incidence of such taxes should not kill the taxpayers or their businesses,” Daramola said.

Similarly, the TUC leader, Ekundayo, appealed to the state House of Assembly to support the local government autonomy in the country.

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