In a bid to address the demands of the labour unions in Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde has inaugurated an 11-member committee on Monday, October 9.
The committee, headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Olanike Adeyemo, will review the workers’ salaries and other issues related to the removal of fuel subsidy.
According to The Nation, t he committee, named “Adhoc Inter-ministerial Committee on the harmonisation of the various demands by the Labour Unions in Oyo State”, has four weeks to submit its report and recommendations to the governor.
Governor Makinde appreciated the workers for their cooperation and urged them to come up with homegrown solutions that will not affect other sectors of the state. He also called for transparency and understanding from both the government and labour teams in the committee.
He said: “Let me thank the labour leaders for coming to the round table. I am optimistic that we will make homegrown solutions to the demand of the labour union in the state.
“In terms of the welfare of workers in Oyo state, I think we have been proactive as a state, the backlog of promotion and all sorts of arrears that we met we have cleared and tackled them headlong.
“In return, we have had cooperation from the workers and labour unions and that has helped us to concentrate and carry out the developmental programme we have for the people of Oyo state.
“I know you have pressures from your national leadership but our state is daring to us. The implementation and well-being of the people can only be addressed at the state level.”
He also noted that some issues on the Exclusive list should be managed by the states, especially security, which he said is crucial for economic development.
He said: “I don’t know of which state in Nigeria that without massive intervention in the security has peace and an atmosphere where meaningful economic activities will take place.
“That is the validation that our engagement at the state level is far more important than whatever is happening at the federal.
“So with sincerity of purpose and having the interest of our people at heart, we both should quickly come together and address the issues that are been faced by our people due to the economy crisis that the country is in.
“Please on the part of the labour don’t say we have this let us eat everything in one go, no we have other things to do if we continue to lag behind with infrastructure, then it will become more and more difficult to expand our economy to have IGR and to win ourselves away from over-reliance from federal allocation.
“Please I want to solicit for your understanding, carry the members along and on behalf of the government we must be completely open because when we find a solution that both sides are comfortable with that is fair to everybody then it is something that will endure and be sustained.
“Please SSG, Head of Service be completely open in our state.”
Responding to questions after the inauguration, Oyo State NLC Chairman, Comrade Kayode Martins who was flanked by other leaders expressed optimism that the Committee will work in the best interest of the workers and citizens of the state.
He said: “We will like to have the report in good time. You can see when the governor suggested six weeks for the committee to report, you saw that I had to say that was too long a time. The survey is already on the ground. We will put in our best to make sure we arrive at a conclusion in the very short term.
“And we will make sure that we consider the neighbouring states so that we don’t end up shooting ourselves in the foot. We may have to endure some patience.
“The major part of our demands is the wage award to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal on the people, the workers and the masses.
“Workers today find it very difficult to report to their duty post, so something has to be done in good time. People are hungry and we have to do something as quickly as possible.
“Workers are looking far beyond N35,000 minimum wage. We are the Pacesetter state, hopefully, we can do more. And when we get there we will talk about it. We are very optimistic that something positive will come out of this committee.”