The State Government of Osun on Thursday asked the Nigeria Labour Congress to allow its state council from Osun provide it with reliable and verifiable information about the government/workers relationship to avoid falling into the error of generalizing its alleged anti-workers’ posture by some states.
Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Semiu Okanlawon, said in a statement that if the national office of the NLC had made efforts to get the accurate information on the state of affairs between the workers and the state government, it would not have listed Osun among states which must be served ultimatum over unpaid salaries.
“We find it curious that at a time that the state council of the NLC which is the umbrella body of many of the trade unions has initiated a move to partner with the state of Osun on how to sustain the state as a result of falling allocation from the Federation Account, the national office is singing discordant tunes by erroneously listing the state among states with “anti-workers” postures.
“May we inform the NLC that workers in Osun can attest to the unparalleled pro-workers disposition of this government right from inception. At a time when many states had started owing their workers up to five months salaries, Osun, despite its very meagre allocation as the 34th on the allocation ladder then, had continued to meet its obligations by paying as at when due. We can say categorically that no state in Nigeria can boast of the records of paying salaries by 26th of every month before the pang of their painful reductions in allocation began to bite harder,” the statement added.
Setting the records straight, the statement denied Osun owing up three month salaries as contained in the allegation by the NLC saying if the state had paid up to October at least, it would be wrong for the NLC to conclude Osun is among states owing “between three to eight months salaries.”
While advising the NLC to verify its claims from the state council well, it reminded the congress that Osun has a rich history of pro-workers dispositions which has been attested to by all workers in the state.
“This has been the basis of the cordial working relationship because the labour in Osun can see the extent to which the government has gone in satisfying the yearnings of the labour force in spite of the excruciating financial situation. This is why workers in our state, rather than confront, are engaging the state government on ways to boost the revenue generation capacity and look inward for alternative sources of funding.”
The statement assured the NLC that it has one of the most workers-friendly governor in Governor Rauf Aregbesola, adding that the government is irrevocably committed to the welfare of workers even in the face of fast-dwindling resources.
It said that with a dip of the allocation to the state from N4.6billion to N1.1billion, the state government deserves more than kudos for the creative way it has managed the economy without collapsing.