Protesting Workers Storm Oyo State  Secretariat, Block  Main Entrance For Hours

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*Demand remittance of deductions from  cooperative contributions, salaries, others

By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Hundreds of protesting workers and pensioners in Oyo State on Monday, stormed the state government secretariat, Agodi over non remittance of deductions from their cooperative contributions and others
During the action, the protesting workers and pensioners blocked the main entrance to the secretariat for hours, chanting songs condemning the state government’s alleged failure to meet their other  demands including  release of promotion letter with financial implications, review of pensions, among others
The protesters made up  workers and pensioners from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and their affiliates blocked the main entrance to the Secretariat for hours 
At about 8.00 am, the protesting workers arrived the secretariat in large numbers amidst solidarity songs demanding to see Governor Makinde personally and tabled their demands before him.
According to the protesters, they were at the Secretariat to demand payment of gratuities to retirees who have been stagnated since 2021 and the release of their Letters of Promotion for the Years 2021 and 2022, respectively.
During the protest by the workers, motorists plying routes along the Oyo state Secretariat resolved into passing through alternative routes as a result of the traffic jams arising from the protests long the Secretariat road  .
The Oyo State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), Comrade Kayode Martin while speaking on the protest said having exhausted all possible avenue, the only solution to the protest was the physical meeting with Governor Seyi Makinde and not by proxy.
According to Comrade Martins all the efforts by labour leaders in the state to meet Gov Makinde on the demands proved abortive for the past few weeks, saying, there is need for dialogue in an industrial relations.
Also speaking, the Oyo state Chairman of Trade Union Congress, (TUC), Comrade  Bosun Olabiyi said Gov Makinde had failed the workers in the state by not being responsible and responsive and that all avenues employed to meet the governor proved abortive, hence the need to embark on the protest to press home their demands.
Oyo state government in its reaction to the workers protest urged the workers to resume at their duty-posts, and continue the good work they are known for adding that the NLC should discuss the issue of salary deductions exhaustively, before embarking on any form of protest, adding that ” only three months and not six months deductions are owed workers”.
The state Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade in a statement said ” every State in the federation owes workers salary deductions and the three months owed by Oyo State is the least. 
According to the Commissioner, the NLC had shown over the years that they are in support of the present administration because of good governance, but asked them to reflect on the disposition of government to workers’ welfare. 
” While the July salaries have been paid in Oyo State, not less than 20 states including Ondo, Plateau, Benue and Bayelsa are owing several months of salaries in arrears, while several more including neighboring states are owing months of deduction arrears”,  he said.
Prince Oyelade added, ” The Oyo State Government started the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage three years ago, yet up till now many states are still struggling to pay the old wage.
” While it is the Right and Entitlement of our workers to access their wages, especially at this tough time, Government implores them to reflect on the sincerity of purpose of this administration” . 
Emphasizing that despite the challenges of paying wages, over 2,000 civil servants have been promoted, while almost 1,000 others have been converted to regular service.
” For the records, Oyo State pays N7.3bn monthly as salaries, yet collects N5bn as Federal Allocation. Because of this, all the N2.8bn raked in as Internally Generated Revenue IGR are ploughed back literally to service salaries.
Prince Oyelade said government deserves a pat on the back, if in spite of this tightrope it still embarks on such magnitude of infrastructural projects, that even the NLC has applauded numerously. 

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