WORKERS in Oyo State marked this year’s May Day celebration, held on Monday, asking the Governor Abiola Ajimobi led government to clear the arrears of salaries, pensions, gratuities and see to the backlog of promotion.
The workers, who had converged on Lekan Salami Stadium, said the state government owed state workers four months, state pensioners four months, local government workers between five and eleven months while retired primary school teachers were owed 56 months pensions.
Delivering his address, Chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Oyo State chapter, Mr Waheed Olojede, also called for the reinstatement and restoration of salaries of those workers cleared of allegations of certificate forgery in the 2016 verification exercise of the state government.
Praying for a return to days of prompt payment of salaries and pensions in the state, Olojede hinted of another round of negotiations with the state government on how to clear the backlog of salaries and pensions.
Among other calls by the labour union was the restoration of 50 per cent subvention to tertiary institutions and effective health insurance scheme for workers.
Olojede was joined in the address state Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Emmanuel Ogundiran; Secretary, Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Mr Olusegun Abatan; Chairman, Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Mr Bayo Titilola-Sodo.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, in his remarks, appreciated the maturity, resilience, perseverance of the state workers amid the delay in payment of salaries, gratuities and pensions.
Attributing the situation to dwindling federal allocation and meagre Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), he avowed that the state government was unrelenting in turning around the bad situation.
Represented by his deputy, Mr Moses Adeyemo, he described as erroneous the impression that the government was deliberately punishing workers through the ongoing restructuring exercise.
He emphasised that the verification exercise was to sanitise the civil service.
Urging workers to rededicate themselves to their duties, Ajimobi charged the workforce to advance innovative and creative ideas that will enhance better service delivery and good governance.
The Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji represented by Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadan, Chief Amidu Ajibade, urged workers to bear with the state government in view of current trying times.