Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Workers in Ogun State have called on the administration of State Governor Ibikunle Amosun to, as a matter of urgency, offset four years leave allowances and 18 months global deductions owed them.
The government was also petitioned to remit a 90 months deductions from workers’ salaries to the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).
The Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state, Olubunmi Fajobi, made the call on Tuesday while speaking at the 2018 May Day celebration, held at the M.K.O Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta, the state capital.
Fajobi said the state government should jettison the continuous payment of net salary instead of gross salary to the workers, a situation he noted that has impacted negatively on the lives of workers.
He said that the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in the state had become moribund, disclosing that 90 months deductions from workers salaries remained largely unremitted by the state government to the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).
Fajobi, who bemoaned a situation where public servants spend out of their meagre salaries to run offices due to the inconsistency in the release of monthly running funds, urged the state government to commence payment of various arrears owed to workers.
“Your Excellency, it is no more news that public servants in several offices spend out of their meagre paltry paid salaries to run their offices due to the inconsistency in the release of monthly running cost,” Fajobi said in a speech.
“In most of the field offices, public servants levy themselves to pay for electricity bills in order to avoid disconnection, buy papers to generate reports to the headquarters and pay for the production of such reports from open private business centres. This is ridiculous and unbecoming of a public service,” Fajobi stated.
In his speech, the chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Akeem Ambali, represented by Vice Chairman Dare Ilekoya, canvassed the adoption and eventual approval of the N65,000 new minimum wage for public servants.
He appealed to Governor Amosun to reinstate the remaining dismissed labour leaders, including the chairman, sacked in 2016, noting that “it is painful and regrettable to recall that the NLC chairman had not received salary in the last 19 months of this travails. We therefore join other leaders across the country to plead for your forgiveness and normalize labour/government relationship.”
Speaking on behalf of the Governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, Deputy Governor of Ogun State, reiterated the administration’s commitment to the welfare of workers in the state.
The administration, according to Onanuga, was not unmindful of the various demands and challenges of civil servants in the state, giving assurance that efforts had been stepped up to ensure issues of promotions, deductions and other arrears are adequately addressed.
Onanuga communicated Governor Amosun’s caution civil servants not to get involved in partisan politics as the 2019 General Election approach.
Onanuga, speaking for the Governor, said:
“Let me seize this opportunity to state that, as the electioneering is fast approaching, I urge you not to downplay the provisions of the Public Service Rule and other extant laws. As law-abiding citizens, continue to exercise your civic rights and duties in line with the provisions of Constitution and purge yourselves of fifth columnists, whose only mission is to lead us on the path of ignominy and unnecessary confrontation.
“I admonish our Civil Servants to leave politics to politicians alone. To do otherwise is not always tidy nor pleasant. As a major player in the economy, we all know that industrial harmony can only take place in an atmosphere of peace, cooperation and understanding.”