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.

Oyo State Signs MoU To Construct Light Rail In Ibadan

AjimobiThe Oyo State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Chinese firm, to construct a light rail transport system covering about 30 kilometres within Ibadan, the state capital.

At the signing ceremony which took place at the Governor’s office, Governor Abiola Ajimobi disclosed that his transformation agenda requires extensive modernisation of major cities in the state.

The governor explained that in modern development, the light rail system is long overdue for Oyo State, with a population of over 10 million people, stating that any city with a population of at least 2 million requires a light rail system of transportation.

The leader of the Chinese delegation, Mr Li Binj, disclosed in an interview with journalists that they did not just come to Oyo State with cutting edge technology, but also the desire to transfer such to local people who would be engaged in the project.

Mr. Binj, who signed the MoU with the Oyo state government, said that the project would give employment to thousands of residents, besides the transfer of technology to those that would be involved in the project.

Governor Ajimobi noted that the state is moving up a notch with the provision of the light rail system to ease traffic congestion and reduce the cost of transportation for individuals as well as small and large scale businesses within Ibadan.

The light rail project is billed to commence and become operational before the end of the second term of Governor Ajimobi.

Civil Servants In Ibadan Protest Alleged Proposed Retrenchment

Civil ServantsMembers of the Oyo State chapter of the Association of Civil Servants in Nigeria (ACSN) have protested against the proposed sack of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) staff.

The protesters, who refused to report for duty in their various posts because of the fear of the mass sack making the rounds, gathered at the front of the commission’s office at New Garage area in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, chanting solidarity songs to register their displeasure.

The ACSN Chairman, Oyo State chapter, Comrade Ibrahim Salman, said about 1000 sack letters had already been prepared for various categories of the commission’s employees.

He also disclosed that the old staff of the commission, who were inherited from the Department of National Civic Registration (DNCR), but later merged with the new staff of the commission were mostly affected by the proposed mass retrenchment.

Mr Salman further stressed that over 4,000 staff of the commission had earlier been laid off across the country, noting that only the old staff of the commission inherited from DNCR were targeted.

In the same vein, the ACSN Publicity Secretary, Mr Adeyemi Olaide, said most of the core civil servants inherited by the commission have been subjected to victimisation and hardship, denying them of their promotion in the process.

He said the Union would do everything possible to frustrate the sack of the civil servants, stressing that the country cannot afford another mass sack considering the poor state of the nation’s economy.

Meanwhile, Officials of the NIMC have described the protest as malicious and an attempt to discredit the management of the commission.

The Director-General of the commission, Mr Chris Onyemenam, said the protesting staff were those who have disciplinary cases to face over falsified records.

Mr Onyemenam, however, refuted plans by the commission to declare redundancy or undertake any form of retrenchment of its staff.