Osun workers have embarked on an indefinite strike to protest the incomplete payment of their salaries and other allowances.
For more than one year, the Rauf Aregbesola government has been paying workers between 50% and 100% of what they are due. Now, the civil servants say they have had enough of the government’s so-called “modulated” salary payment.
In response, the state government said through its Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa, that:
- The reason for the state’s dire economic situation is that some vandals who found themselves at “the helms of affairs in the Federal Government ran the country into economic recession. And therefore, things became difficult financially for the government of the state of Osun, and that is the reason quite a number of ingenious things had to be done, including putting modulated salary in place so that workers and pensioners would go home with something at the end of the month.”
Which vandals threw Nigeria into a recession?
It is unclear which federal administration the commissioner was referring to as vandals in his statement because even though Gov. Aregbesola has consistently lambasted the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and its handling of the economy, it is on record that the economy went into a recession under the APC federal government of Muhammadu Buhari.
The commissioner also said that:
- The state government is in discussions with labour and the strike may not “last beyond a day.”
- Gov. Aregbesola has shown sincerity of purpose because the last time the state received Paris Club refunds, workers received their July and August 2015 arrears.
- The state government is determined to pay “whatever arrears is being owed in respect of level 8-12 workers who are being owed 25 per cent and level 13 and above who are being owed 50 per cent when the finances of the state get better. Level 1-7 which constitute 72 per cent of the workforce of the state are not owed anything. It is just the 28 per cent that the government owes 25 and 50 per cent arrears. And the government is committed to pay it back.”
- He said labour leaders agitating for promotion of workers should be more understanding as it doesn’t make sense to promote workers without backing it up with money.
- Gov. Aregbesola is certain that the financial crunch will be over soon as there has been a gradual rise in the cost of crude oil in the international market which if it continues like that, it will assure more money into the purse of the federal government and indeed the state government. “Therefore, there is likelihood we return to good old days where workers do not need to ask for anything before the government of Aregbesola does it for them,” the statement said.