December 31, 2015

Written by: Wale Akinselure for The Nigerian Tribune

Against the backdrop of the yearnings of Oyo workers for regular payment of their salaries, the state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has reiterated that the situation where workers tend to receive their salary once in two months was the better option in the face of current realities.

According to chairman, Oyo NLC, Mr Waheed Olojede, the option in line with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the state government, was better than acceding to the option of retrenchment, payment of half salary or basic salary.

In a review of the outgoing year which he described as bad and critical for workers, he maintained that the agreement that 90 per cent of Federal Government allocation received by the state, be committed to clearing accumulated arrears subsisted.

Specifically bemoaning that many workers had struggled to celebrate the festive period, he urged the state government to mitigate a recurrence of similar hardship in 2016, through well-planned programmes of action.

“The MOU we signed with government is based on allocation received and on current realities. We have said no to half salary. Our position with government is that no worker will be retrenched and that is why we are managing the situation the way we are. Oyo State has fared better in the payment of salaries when compared to some other states.”

“We have not entered into any agreement with government that they would not pay again. The only sacrifice is that we are getting our salary piecemeal. I do not think retrenchment is an option regardless how things go. With the situation in Nigeria as a whole, we consider that this is a better option to retrenchment or half salary, payment of basic salary. Among other options, this manner of payment is the best option for now.”

Speaking on what was regarded as a staggered arrangement, State Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade had hinted that government would not retrench workers, noting that insufficiency of funds meant workers would receive once in two months.

While acknowledging that salaries arrears would continue to occur, he assured that the situation was bound to improve as funds improved from the Federal Government.

“It is a staggered arrangement like once in two months. Because of the insufficiency of funds, the issue of arrears will keep occurring. If a worker receives salary once in two months, the implication is that, within six months, arrears of three months would have occurred, so what government has agreed is that whenever funds from Abuja improve, we will clear the arrears,” Eniade said.