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Oyo Labour Leaders Appreciate Makinde, Insist Minimum Wage, Way Forward

The leadership of labour unions in Oyo State have commended Governor Seyi Makinde’s decision to extend the payment of wage awards for workers and pensioners in the state by another six months in order to cushion the effects of the harrowing economic situation in the country.

The government had in October 2023 approved the payment of N25,000 and N15,000 to workers and pensioners respectively in the state. The initial six-month payment is to lapse in April.

In the face of current economic realities, however, the Union leaders have reasoned that wage award has outlived its usefulness, and that minimum wage negotiation is the way forward.

The leaders including, Comrade Kayode Martins (Chairman, of the Nigerian Labour Congress), Comrade Bosun Olabiyi (Chairman of Trade Union Congress) and Comrade Seun Olaosebikan (Chairman, of the Joint Negotiations Council) spoke separately while reacting on Tuesday.

They nevertheless said that they will abide by whatever decision and agreement that is reached at the national level between the Federal Government and the National labour leaders in the minimum wage.

Speaking, the Oyo NLC Chairman, Comrade Kayode Martins said “We want to appreciate the gesture of our amiable governor, Engr Seyi Makinde. It shows that he has us in mind and he has been proactive, but the situation on ground has really gone beyond that.

“We appreciate his gesture notwithstanding; the situation in the country is tense and the N25,000 wage award has really cushioned the whole thing to a certain level, but in the current situation, things have really gone out of hand and whatever it takes, we will be ready to address the issue.

“Talking about the signal from the national on the proposed protest, since it is a national issue, Oyo State is not left out, we will abide by whatever directive that comes as per the protest on hardship in the country”.

Asked if the leaders were consulted by Governor Makinde before announcing the wage award extension, the NLC Chairman said “Ordinarily if we had been beckoned on, maybe we would have advised a better approach to have it done, but we were not aware, we just heard of it in the news.

“Hopefully, before the week runs out, the process of negotiation on the new minimum wage will commence from the national headquarters and you know that their conclusion and agreement is what we will build on at the state level. But, the signal is that the committee has started sitting and we are waiting for their resolve.

“It is a general issue in the country. Everybody can feel it. We are planning to have a two-day protest across the country to send the signal to those in authority that things are unconducive for the general masses, so people should come out to join.

“We want people to come out. It is going to be a peaceful protest but if the directive comes that we should sit at home, many people are already sitting at home. Many people cannot afford transportation to the office anymore.

Also speaking, Oyo TUC Chairman, Comrade Bosun Olabiyi, said people are more interested in actions and activities that will have a direct impact on their lives rather than needless meetings.

“The only thing I would like to add is that things are very obvious now. What people want to see is activities not meetings here and there any longer.

“If you see a viral video of the TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo, it is not only in Oyo state that people will come to work on Monday and they will not leave until Friday, looking for where to sleep in the office.

“So, things have gone really bad. There are so many things to say but I believe there will be a meeting, especially in Oyo state. Oyo state is our own, just as the governor always says, it is our own, it belongs to all of us.

“But, the issue on ground now, they are national issues which everybody must be on the same page”, he stressed

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