Workers and other citizens of Ondo State have been assured of continued support from the present administration in the state.

The state governor, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa gave the assurance on Tuesday while addressing protesting members of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC in Akure, the state capital.

The National leadership of the NLC had declared a 2-Day nationwide protest against the current economic hardship faced by its members and other Nigerians as a result of some policies of government.

Addressing the protesters, Governor Aiyedatiwa, who was represented by the state Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele, said though there had been high level of harmonious relationship and industrial peace between government and labour in the state, he is not unconscious of the current economic situation in the country and its effects on the citizens.

While pledging to relay the message of the NLC to President Bola Tinubu, he reiterated its resolve to ameliorate the situation in the state by continuing all the palliative measures put in place to assuage the effect on the citizens.

According to him, while the state had since began monthly payment of thirty five thousand naira wage award to its workers just like the federal government and additional ten thousand to retirees, additional 5 CNG buses had been procured to be added to the existing buses earlier deployed to commute workers and students to and from work and schools.

His words, ‘We thank you for making this protest a very peaceful one. There is no doubt about the fact that in Ondo State, the NLC, the TUC who are the key representatives of the labour force have been partners in progress just as the state had taken the issues of labour and workers as very critical and that is why from time to time, we have always adopted the principle of negotiation and dialogue.’

‘I want to say, the government of Ondo State is not unaware of the difficult situation that we have found ourselves because of the state of our economy. You will bear me out that this government has taken proactive steps to ensure that the level of hardship and difficulty is assuaged for workers in the state.’

‘Ondo State Government had ensured that for every worker in the state today, we have cleared all outstanding arreas of salaries. This is a way to keep workers floating and going in the midst of hard economic reality we have to face.’

‘Beyond that, government have put in place some programmes and activities to assuage the problems and that includes the free transport shuttle. In fact, the programme ought to have ended in December last year but the governor saw that the issue of the cost of transport needs to be taken care of and has continued to approve money every month so that our workers would continue to enjoy free transport from their homes to their offices and back to their homes.’

‘Ondo State Government will continually be taking proactive steps as the need arises to ensure that our workers are well taken care of.’ The HOS added.

Earlier in his message during the protest visit, the state chairman of the NLC, Comrade Victor Amoko, who was accompanied by the Joint Negotiation Council, JNC state Chairman, Comrade Ademola Olapade, Nigerian Union of Journalist, NUJ, state Chairman, Comrade Prince Leke Adegbile and several other labour leaders in the state, had reeled out the demands of labor to include rehabilitation of refineries, taxation of the rich in the country and replacement of students loan by free education among other demands.

Sina Adeyeye,
Director Media,
Office of the HOS
27th February, 2024

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