The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Oyo State has called on political leaders to ensure that the country’s economy is tilted toward self-sufficiency.
The labour union made the call on Tuesday during the Workers’ Day celebration held at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex in Ibadan.
Newsmen report that workers had thronged the venue with black arm bands to mourn the late Speaker of the State Assembly, Hon. Michael Adeyemo, and others killed across the country.
Newsmen report that the state government had also declared a three-day mourning from Monday in honour of Adeyemo who died on Friday in Ibadan
Mr Waheed Olojede, the State NLC Chairman, said that the Nigerian economy should be heading toward self-sufficiency.
“Before the advent of oil in Nigeria, there had been political leaders who gave us the best of administration premised on agriculture. We are appealing to our leaders to harness our potentials in agriculture,” he said.
He also stated that the N66,500 minimum wage demanded from government was realisable, adding it must be effective from September.
“If a lawmaker can get a take home pay of N14,250,000 monthly which can pay 215 workers’ salaries at N66,500 minimum wage, then the demand is realisable,” he said.
Olojede further called on the state government to reconsider the plight of innocent workers among those alleged to have falsified their credentials in the recent verification exercise.
He stated that the union had conducted its own investigation on the exercise and discovered that some of those indicted were actually innocent.
Mr Segun Abatan, the Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners(NUP) in the state, said pensioners would also demand a minimum pension of N40,000.
He stated that non-agitation for such in the past had left some of their members on a pension of N1,500.
Abatan called on members being owed 56 months pension arrears and gratuity since 2008 to remain calm.
He also called on members to collect their PVCs and ensure that family members do the same, saying they must participate actively in the process of electing who governs them.
In her speech, Mrs Hannah Ogunesan, the State Head of Service, commended the workers for their commitment, dedication, understanding and perseverance during the trying times.
She said that government had never taken the workers for granted, promising that better days were coming ahead.
Ogunesan stated that the just concluded verification exercise was not targeted at any individual but to cleanse the system, adding that no worker would be treated unjustly.
“Let me restate that the present administration would continue to prioritise workers’ welfare. We will also ensure that they are motivated for productivity.
“We urge workers also to reciprocate government’s efforts with loyalty, diligence and dedication to duty for the much desired result,” she said.
Newsmen report that the event which featured the usual march past, was attended by the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji and members of various unions.