Labour leaders in Oyo State on Friday announced that the strike earlier planned to resume same day had been cancelled after a meeting with the state Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Waheed Olojede, told newsmen in Ibadan that the decision to drop the plan was arrived at after it was agreed that the whole federal allocation accruing to the state be used to pay salaries and pension, leaving the state government with only the N1.1bn Internally Generated Revenue to spend.
On March 29 this year, labour unions in the state gave a seven-day ultimatum to the state government, citing poor welfare of the state workers because of five months’ salary arrears. The salaries owed by the state were later reduced to four months after November 2015 salary was paid.
Olojede said, “The labour unions held series of meetings before the meeting with Governor Ajimobi on Thursday. At the meeting, both parties agreed that the welfare of the workers is pathetic and their financial status was becoming unbearable. The meeting was at the instance of the federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity
“We decided that instead of the 90 per cent of the federal allocation to the state being used to pay salaries and pensions as earlier agreed, the whole money will now be used to pay the salaries and pensions.
“As part of our agitation, we looked at the Internally Generated Revenue of the state. We were told that a total of N1.1bn was being generated monthly and that it would be impossible to deep hands into it because of the other responsibilities of government.
“Based on these, we are vacating the ultimatum given to the state government and we call on our members to continue working while we test the new memorandum. We want to assure them that labour leaders in the state are fighting for their welfare. We are leaders of repute and we owe them a duty to represent them,” he added.
The labour leader said that federal allocation coming to the state would increase after the Central Bank of Nigeria granted debt relief to states.
“Our investigation revealed that the Central Bank of Nigeria has granted two-year moratorium to all states. This means that the debts owed by the states will not be deducted from their allocation for two years. That also means that the state allocation figure will increase and workers will be paid,” said Olojede.