Workers’ strike grounds Ekiti government businesses …I have no solution – Fayose

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By; Oladele Adedayo, Ado-Ekiti.

The fresh industrial action embarked upon by organized labour in Ekiti State on Wednesday has paralysed all government activities.

But the state governor, Mr Ayo Fayose explained that he had no immediate solution to what the workers were demanding.

However, government offices were under lock and keyed in all establishments visited by our correspondent on Thursday.

Those who also stayed off from their duty posts aside core civil servants included teachers in primary and secondary schools, health workers, local government staff as well as employees in higher institutions.

The workers, under the auspices of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and Joint Negotiating Council (JNI) had embarked on indefinite strike on Thursday to press home their series of demands, top of which was payment of five months salaries owed them.

Meanwhile, only few of the political appointees were seen doing skeletal works in their offices.

Chairmen of NLC, Mr. Ade Adesanmi, his TUC counterpat, Mr. Odunayo Adesoye, and Joint Negotiation council( JNC) Secretary, Oladele Blessing, told New Nigerian that the strike became necessary after  they had displayed uncommon understanding over the state’s financial status.

The workers’ demands are; the release of the staff audit and verification conducted in April, 2015, disclosure of the state monthly internally generated revenue, payment of arrears of five months salaries pension and gratuities, payment of September 2014 salary to primary school teachers and payment of 2014 and 2015 leave bonuses.

Others include implementation of promotion for 2013, 2014, 2015, approval of inter-cadre transfer, remission of 10% IGR to local government and stoppage of Joint Allocation Committee’s account, resuscitation of LG staff pension fund and release of running grants.

While reacting to the strike in a televised broadcast on Thursday, Fayose said the state was facing serious financial crises that may not enable it meet up with certain responsibilities immediately.

He said workers monthly wage bill is currently over N2billion whereas federal allocation keep reducing from almost N3billion to as low as N751m in April.

“Even before going on their strike, I got to know that many of them no longer come to office while many others were coming late to office, but why I refused to come hard on those involved was that I had no moral justification to do so since I know we were owing them.

“I cannot stop workers from going on strike, we shall be waiting till when they come back, but they must realise that strike is not the best option.

“Even in Government House, we don’t have money to power generators with diesel, whereas, I cannot sell myself or members of my family to raise funds, things are that difficult”, Fayose said.

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