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Ogun workers rattle Gov. Abiodun’s 15-month-old administration with strike 

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The labour unions in Ogun State have called out workers on a week warning strike to press home their demands including the implementation of the 30, 000 minimum wage.

The strike which began on Wednesday (Sept. 16) has paralyzed government businesses in the state.

Gov. Dapo Abiodun had failed to implement the N30,000 minimum wage after signing an agreement with the labour unions in January 2020.

 

The State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC),  Emmanuel Bankole, said the strike became inevitable after hours of meeting  between the leadership of the labour unions  and government officials on Tuesday  deadlocked.

On September 2, the workers had given the state government a 14-day ultimatum to commence the payment of new minimum wage which expired today.

Bankole listed their demands as unpaid minimum wage, 134 months unremitted pension deductions, Zero remittance of National Housing Fund deductions to the Federal Mortgage Bank, non – restoration of payment of gross salary and non-payment of gratuity to retirees of the state since 2013.

Others are the gratuity of retirees of Local Government which was stopped in 2011, unpaid allowance of all employees both state and councils and non-promotion of staff since 2018.

He accused the governor of taking workers for granted for too long and being insensitive to their plights.

“With the facts before us, Ogun state is not the poorest in Southwest. If Lagos is paying and has continued to pay even with, Ondo state is paying and continue to pay, Oyo State is paying even with, there is no reason for Ogun State not to pay.

“And so we are saying no, all their excuses are unacceptable to us. The position of the government is unacceptable to us. What they said was that minimum wage will have to be delayed so that they can do certain things and we said no, enough is enough having waited for so long.

“We are talking about gratuities that have not been paid for years, we are talking about leave allowance that has not been paid for years, we are talking about retirees that were shortchanged and not been paid.

“Since 2018 promotion has not been done in Ogun State. These are the issues that we brought to the table and all attempts to get them to reason failed and so we are embarking on the warning strike,” the labour leader said.

Recently, the Committee for Review of Contracts/Projects came out with a report that Abiodun – led Government of the Gateway State would require N218, 380,996,134.47K to complete abandoned projects/contracts  awarded by the administrations of Govs.Gbenga Daniel and Ibikunle Amosun from 2009 to May 2019.

The Chairman of that Committee, Engr. Adekunle Mokuolu, had while submitting the report to Abiodun revealed that the total amount for unpaid Certificates of Valuation(CV) for work done stands at N20,741,675,388.76K.

Also, in July this year, the state 2020 budget was slashed from  the initial N450bn to N280bn, resulting in 38% cut following shortfalls in expected revenue.

 

The Finance Commissioner, Mr Dapo Okubadejo, promised that in spite the the  Coronavirus pandemic, the state government would  not abandon the agreement reached with the Organised Labour Unions on the implementation of the new minimum wage.

Okubadejo said government was trying to mobilize funds to accommodate the new minimum wage.

 

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