A socio-politial group has advised state government workers in Oyo State to be
ready to negotiate with the in-coming administration on the contentious matter of the new minimum wage so that the administration could find its feet and stabilise governance.
The Oyo Kajola Group (OKG), in a statement, noted that position of the Oyo State governor-elect, Mr Seyi Makinde, that he would have to negotiate with the labour union over the N30,000 minimum wage law, is based on the present financial situation of the government.
The OKG said the governor-elect’s position was “candid, forthright and patriotic”.
It implored the workforce in the state and well-meaning residents to be ready to “reason and make compromises with the new government when such need arises, until the new government finds its feet.”
According to the group, in the statement signed by its media coordinator, Taiwo Ogunlade, it was uncharitable for opposition politicians and mischief-makers to twist Makinde’s candid view about the situation in the state, saying: “the extant reality in Oyo State is such that the state’s financial capacity would not be able to bear the burden that will be occasioned by the sharp rise in wage and a good-hearted and truthful chief executive, which is what Makinde has promised to be, cannot shy away from expressing these worries.
“While the governor-elect has promised to transform the state immensely and to turn
around its internally-generated revenue, which will make it less dependent on
federal allocations, all these cannot be done in a hurry. The workers, who we
believe, have always been partners in the progress of the state, should be
ready to negotiate with the new government, so that it could find its feet and stabilise governance,” the group said.
“The financial reality and preliminary findings of the governor-elect, which showed how the state has been groaning under a heavy financial burden under the
outgoing government and how the government has continued to pile more burdens with last minute attempts to ground the incoming government, led Makinde to make the statement.
“It will be uncharitable for the outgoing
government, which has less than a month to leave office to rush into paying a
wage that will become unsustainable. Oyo State workers should not forget in a
hurry how Governor Abiola Ajimobi had, in 2011, dilly-dallied over the new
minimum wage and how he had waged wars on the workers, ranging from threats to blackmail,” the statement added.
Recall that when the out-going Governor Abiola Ajimobi began moves to meet with workers after he promised to pay the new wage, Makinde, in a statement by his spokesperson, Prince Dotun Oyelade, queried the intention and sincerity of the outgoing government to open negotiation with the labour unions about 30 days to his exit.
He accused the Ajimobi administration of wanting to complicate issues for him in exactly the same manner it is doing in awarding fresh contracts and rolling out largesse to politicians and friends.
He warned against what he described as any booby traps in the planned negotiation by the outgoing government, reiterating his commitment towards ensuring that nothing short of the interest of workers would be acceptable to his administration