TUC Gives Oyo Govt. 15-Day Ultimatum To Pay Workers

FILE: Students and traders protesting in Oyo State.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Oyo State Government and all governors owing workers to pay up or face mass action in affected states.

Members of TUC at the national level joined their counterparts from Oyo state to protest the non-payment of their salaries for over 6 months.

They called on the Governor of the state, Mr Abiola Ajimobi to urgently find a solution to the lingering crisis.

The Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade, while addressing the protesters, appealed for calm and assured that the committee to be inaugurated between labour and government will come up with a lasting solution to the problem.

Meanwhile, all public primary and secondary schools in Oyo State remain closed despite the order to re-open the schools by the governor.

In an interview with Channels Television, TUC Chairman, Oyo State chapter, Comrade Niyi Akano, maintained that teachers are not resuming until their demands are met.

A visit round schools by Channels Television Correspondent on Monday, revealed that no school was functional despite the order and labour insists it will remain so until issues at stake are resolved.

In the meantime, the Oyo State Government insists that the proposed participatory management of public schools will happen and to be sure of government’s seriousness, a 31 member Education Reform Initiative Committee has been set up to widen the scope of consultations on the project.

Members of the committee were drawn from the University of Ibadan, commissioners from relevant ministries, community and religious leaders, and private sector education practitioners while the NUT, NLC, Ancopps and NANs are expected to submit 2 representatives each for the committee.

Oyo Govt. Removes 16,532 Suspected Ghost Workers, Pensioners From Pay Roll

ajimobiThe Oyo State government has temporarily struck out the names of 16, 532 workers and pensioners from its payroll following their alleged involvement in collection of multiple salaries, elongation of retirement age and other infractions.

Those affected were drawn from a total 100,259 workers and pensioners screened from the ministries, departments and parastatals, as well as the teaching service, local government, Broadcasting Service of Oyo State, judiciary, Water Corporation and tertiary institutions.

The Secretary to the State Government, Olalekan Alli, disclosed this at a press conference held at the Parliament Building, Secretariat, Ibadan which had in attendance the state’s Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade; Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr Yomi Layinka; and Senior Special Assistant, Print and Broadcast Media, Mr Akin Oyedele.

The SSG said that the decision was reached after a forensic verification exercise conducted by the renowned Nigerian Interbank Settlement Systems Plc revealed the likely existence of ghost workers within the system.

Alli said that the exercise was part of ongoing efforts by the state to clean up its payroll of fake workers and pensioners fleecing the state of its commonwealth.

He, however, clarified that the affected 16,532 people would have opportunity to clear their names when they appear before a four-member panel constituted by the government to authenticate findings by the NIBSS.

To erase doubts and allay fears of witch-hunting, he said that the panel would comprise representatives of the government, the consultants and the workers’ union, while the permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance, would serve as secretary.

After the forensic computerized data audit, he said that the consultants from NIBSS Plc found many instances of inconsistencies, variations and entry details that did not tally involving 16, 532 employees, out of a total 100,250 workforce analyzed.

The SSG listed revelations from the audit exercise to include multiple salary payments into single account, multiple salary payment to single name, employees that have passed retirement age, invalid BVN, invalid bank accounts and name details and employees with mismatched names.

He promised that findings by the proposed panel would be made public, stressing that any of the affected people found to have been wrongly categorized as ghost worker would be reinstated.

Oyo Govt. To Investigate Plank Market Fire

FireThe Oyo State Government says it will raise a panel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fire that engulfed the Sango Alaro Plank Market twice in three days.

This was made known to reporters by the Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy to the State Governor, Mr Yomi Layinka, when he led a delegation to the market.

“We are here to examine the extent of damage and to know the causes of the fire incident. That is, the one that happened on Friday and the other that occurred in the early hours of today (Monday).

“While the representatives of the market operatives have alleged of some conspiracy in the fire incident that gutted the market, the government wants to assure all stakeholders that we shall thoroughly investigate the immediate and remote causes of the incidents to ensure that whoever is responsible is brought to justice,” Governor Ajimobi’s spokesman said.

Mr Layinka appealed to the traders and members of the affected community to remain calm and shun any illegal act, adding that security operatives had been put on red alert to guard the market in order to prevent further losses.

The chairman of the market association, Mr Oladipo Faseyitan, said that while the first fire incident was caused by a gas explosion from a nearby building, the second one could have been caused by a group of people who claimed to be the land owners.

He explained that his members had for some time been having running battles with the land owners, who had told them to either vacate the community or face dire consequence.

Faseyitan, who said property worth hundreds of millions of naira had been lost to the inferno, called on the state government to assist the traders in mitigating the effect of the losses.

While briefing the government officials, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Sango Police Station, Mrs Joyce Maiyaki, said that the Police had been providing adequate security in the area just as she commended the Oyo State Fire Service for its prompt response in putting out the fire.

Some other dignitaries who also visited the scene were the Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade, a former Secretary to the State Government, Mr Ismail Olalekan-Alli, a former Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Dr. Gbade Ojo as well as a former Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Mr Segun Abolarinwa.

Oyo State Workers Call Off Strike

OyoThe Oyo State Chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has called off its two-week old strike, ordering members to resume work effective Monday June 8 2015.

The State Chairman of the union, Waheed Olojede, disclosed this to journalists in Ibadan at the end of a joint negotiation meeting between Labour and government representatives, led by the State Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade.

Olojede explained that the state government has accepted Labour’s demands and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pay the workers all outstanding arrears as soon as the next allocation comes in.

The Head of Service, however, noted that government has proven its determination to open up to workers in the area of government finance, especially on federal allocation received monthly.

He said the union has informed the NLC national headquarters of this recent development and decision to end the industrial action.

The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, had on Thursday, expressed optimism that the dialogue between the government and Labour would not extend beyond the week as a mutually acceptable solution has been found to address the the issue.

Oyo Urge Striking Workers To Demonstrate Greater Understanding

OyoThe Oyo State Government has called on its Civil Servants to call off the ongoing strike by its labour union.

The government asked the workers to show greater understanding of the situation which had affected the payment of salaries as and when due.

Addressing reporters on Wednesday at his office in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade, urged the workers to resume and allow further negotiations to be made between the labour union and the government.

He confirmed the receipt of the letter from the State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), to the effect that its national body had given a directive to commence an industrial action from Monday, May 25, as a result of unpaid salaries.

The Oyo State Government on Tuesday described the industrial action as ‘premature and insensitive’ to ongoing negotiations between government and the union.

Mr Eniade, however, said it was on record that since the inception of the present administration, payment of salaries had been made latest by the 25th day of every month.

He also added that the feat had been maintained until recently, when allocation to states from the Federal Government started nose-diving.

The Head of Service further maintained that the paucity of funds had been severally discussed with the representatives of the labour union, on the need to fashion out ways of addressing the unfortunate development.

He emphasised that the present condition of the state called for partnership between government and workers, particularly on ways of improving the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), to augment the dwindling federal allocation.

Mr Eniade revealed that while the monthly wage bill stood at 5.2 billion Naira, the amount received last from the Federation Account was 2.6 billion Naira, leaving a shortfall of 2.6 billion Naira for the payment of workers’ salaries only, aside other developmental programmes.

Stressing the need for greater understanding on the part of the workers, he said the situation was not peculiar to the state alone.

The Head of Service said Oyo State was owing two months salaries, as against some states owing their workers between five and nine months salaries.