Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has replied the President of
the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, attributing the
State’s inability to pay workers salary regularly to the current
downturn in the nation’s economy and the heavy loan burden left by his
predecessor.

The governor, in his response to the NLC President’s letter on the
ongoing workers strike in the State, called on the NLC to join the
advocacy for fiscal restructuring in Nigeria with a view to reviewing
the federation allocation formular in favour of States, towards a
lasting solution to the palpable indigent status of most States.

The letter read; “I write to acknowledge your correspondence on the
current strike action by workers in Ekiti State and I thank you for
the expression of concern for the welfare of workers and suggestions
on boosting internally generated revenue.

“I want to state clearly that the issues listed in the statement
represent the claims of the leadership of Labour in Ekiti State upon
which their rather hasty resort to industrial action was premised.
Government does not agree with most of the issues, as stated by
labour, and had since commenced dialogue with them. The discussions
are ongoing and I hope that ressolution(s) will be achieved soon.

“Let me put on record, the demonstrable commitment of my Government to
governance principles of accountability, transparency and commitment
to the welfare of workers.

“It is an open secret that I paid workers on or before the 22nd of
each month during my first tenure.

“It is also known that the current economic downturn is a national
issue and consequently the inability of most State Governments to meet
wage obligations as at when due.

“Our case is further made more precarious in Ekiti State by the heavy
burden of debt left by the immediate past APC government of Dr Kayode
Fayemi, on which over N1bn is being deducted from the State allocation
monthly.

“Ekiti State economy is not immuned from the national crunch which is
the bottomline for the arrears of unpaid salaries and pensions in 28
of the 36 States in Nigeria.

“Based on this, and in addition to your suggestions on boosting
internal revenue in States, your congress need to join the advocacy
for fiscal restructuring in Nigeria i.e the review of the federation
allocation formular in favour of States, towards a lasting solution to
the palpable indigent status of most States.

“Please be assured that, it is the policy of my government to involve
labour leaders and other critical holders in governance and
particularly on decisions on financial matters.

“We remain committed to the principles of accountability and
transparency which the leadership of labour in Ekiti State actually
need to embrace. They also need to come to terms with the realities of
the prevailing economic situation in our country at the moment.

“Once again, I thank you for your interest in the welfare of workers
in Ekiti State and I assure you that government will sustain the
ongoing dialogue with the leadership of labour towards an expeditious
ending of the current industrial action.”


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