Oyo State Government has denied media reports insinuating disharmony between the state government and the state branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress over payment of salary arrears.
The state government in a press statement signed by the Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy Yomi Layinka, and made available to Daily Champion, yesterday, regretted that the dwindling revenue from oil has been brought with it a lot of challenges, adding that the government and the leadership f the labour unions had had robust understanding on the matter.
The statement said, “To say the least, the unfortunate situation foisted on the country by the dwindling accruals from oil, the country’s major source of revenue, is a major concern to all and sundry and it is highly regrettable.
“While the government empathizes with workers and pensioners over the attendant inability to pay salaries and other emoluments as it usually did in the past, we solicit continued understanding of the Labour over the matter.
“Indeed, the options of reduced salaries and reduction in an otherwise bloated workforce were considered but deferred in concession to the workers; instead a staggered salary payment strategy was proposed by Labour and acceded to by Government.”
The statement 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 while the remaining ten percent would be deployed to the running of other aspects of governance.
“Till date, the state government has not reneged on the letter and spirit of that agreement. The ultimatum issued by Labour is therefore not only surprising but also unnecessary and uncalled-for in the prevailing circumstance.
“Meanwhile, the governor has since authorized a meeting scheduled for this Thursday with the Labour leaders. So, we can only urge workers and their leadership to allow Reason to prevail by not truncating the industrial harmony currently existing within the state.
“As principal stakeholders in the affairs of the state, the government is open to dialogue with Labour and such other equally critical stakeholders on this and any other issue that may arise in the future especially on how best to move our dear state forward and regenerate its fortunes.”