Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has said he is not fazed by the strike threat of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), vowing that any worker who goes on strike will not be paid.
He promised not to review the 90 per cent income dedicated for the payment of workers salary from the Federation Account.
The governor said the call by the NLC to add the Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) with the 90 per cent income from the Federation Account to pay the workers will not be possible at the moment.
Ajimobi spoke yesterday at the stakeholders meeting between the government, 33 Caretaker Chairmen and traditional rulers on the economic diversification project held at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, Ibadan.
The governor said: “It was agreed that about 90 per cent of income accruing from the state’s monthly allocation from the Federation Account should be dedicated to the workers. The balance of ten per cent would be deployed to the running of other aspects of governance.”
He noted that till date, the government has not reneged on the agreement, adding that the ultimatum issued by Labour is not only surprising but unnecessary and uncalled-for in the prevailing circumstances.
According to him, government cannot pay 62,000 workers with the money that ought to be used to maintain over 10 million citizens.
His words: “Modern day labour union and government relationship has listed steps that must be taken. Step one is if you have any concern about anything, there is a joint negotiation committee that is made up of government and workers, you first go there to discuss with them.
“If after the discussion it does not work then you can go to the next level where the head of service and government will now appoint some people to discuss. It is when negotiations have broken down that labour can give notice of strike and not this old time labour government relationship where without discussing you will issue ultimatum to go on strike.
“It is illegal because this is a government where law must be followed and obeyed, not this culture of impunity. It is wrong to give an ultimatum to go on strike without reaching a consensus with the government.
“We have an agreement, there was a time we use to get close to N5 billion from the Federal Government and our IGR was like N1 billion, now everybody is aware of the situation, and now we are having N2 billion plus from Federal Government.”
He urged the labour leaders to negotiate with the government, vowing that any worker who goes on strike without following due process will not be paid.
Speaking on the need for agrarian revolution, Ajimobi said the state is blessed with 28,544 kilometre per square of land, adding that the state has the most fertile land in Southern Nigeria.
He said:” The only way out of the present economic meltdown in the state is through agricultural revolution and that is why we need the support of traditional rulers, local government chairmen and all the citizens. We shall embark on massive mechanised farming in 28 local government areas.
The Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, appealed to labour leaders not to embark on strike “but should be considerate and embrace the government’s conditions”.
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, said: “The government has tried his best allocating 90 per cent of the federal allocation to pay the worker’s salary. The labour leaders only need to be patient and considerate.”
[Source:- The Nation]