There are signs of an impending mass retrenchment of workers in the Oyo State workforce, as Governor Abiola Ajimobi has vowed to ensure its restructuring. He said this restructuring will ensure productivity as well as enable his administration to pay the monthly wage bill. Ajimobi, who spoke while addressing reporters in Ibadan, said: “Undoubtedly, we will make Oyo State prosperous. One cannot make an omelette without breaking an egg. We have been vindicated with our position that our monthly wage bill is N5.2 billion, and the workers have seen it. Many states cannot pay salaries. Oyo State is even better than many states. But with what we are putting in place, we will restructure and we will assess people. There must be productivity.”
The governor said former President Olusegun Obasanjo advised him on the need to restructure the workforce, adding that he needs to make the state more functional, efficient and productive.
He noted that there were many workers, who were not doing anything, “but just sitting down and collecting salaries”.
Ajimobi added: “People have seen that we told the truth when we said salaries and wages amount to N5.2 billion. Previously, workers said we are telling lies, but today, they have seen it. We told them that we do not have money and that we will give them 100 per cent of the money we have. They said we were lying. Today, they have seen it.
“Sometimes, I wonder why the workers embarked on strike, because it is the same money we would have paid them that we are paying them now.
“They even said we sold schools. But the people have seen that we did not sell schools. Oyo State will develop the more, if we are honest with each other, if we tell the truth, if we let facts rule us and we allow intellectualism and a knowledge-based economy to grow; not by raising sentiment, innuendo and telling lies to people.”
Also yesterday, some local government council workers in Iseyin, Oyo State, expressed their happiness about resuming work after a seven-week strike was suspended.
The state’s chapter of NLC had embarked on an industrial action to press home its demands for payment of salary arrears, among other issues.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews, some of the workers said they were happy to receive the news of the suspension of the strike.
Mr. Alamu Sunday, a unionist at Itesiwaju Local Government Council in Iseyin said: “We have made our point that without us, no government can function. “We have also told the state governor through the strike that we are not happy with him.”
Also, Mr. Musiliu Owokoniran, another unionist at Iseyin Council Area, said it was important to embark on strike sometimes to make some salient points.
CULLED FROM: thenationonlineng.com