By Adekola Afolabi
The chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ondo State, Comrade Oluwole Sunday-Adeleye, has thumbed up the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for his commitment to the welfare and well-being of workers in the state.
Sunday-Adeleye who particularly applauded Governor Akeredolu for not reneging on his promise not to owe any salary before the end of his tenure, equally assured that workers will re-double their efforts and continue to do what is good for the state.
The labour leader while speaking on Tuesday during the Annual Prayer Meeting with Public Servants on the first working day of the year held at the Governor’s office, Akure, the state capital, stressed that Akeredolu holds the workers of the state in a very high esteem.
“Let me say this clearly with every pride in me, on behalf of workers of Ondo State, that Arakunrin Akeredolu has spent 70 months and one week as the Governor of Ondo State, and he has paid 76-months salaries.
“We have seen a situation, I won’t mention the name of the state, when a former Governor owed them about 7 months salary and he told the workers that go and get your salary from the former Governor, but sir, you have not done that.
“Ordinarily, if you have decided not to pay the salary arrears, you would have had abundance even to do capital projects. Sir, on behalf of the workers of the state, I thank you for this.
“Let me say again, because in labour we need to compare and contrast, in one of the South-West States, the governor released N500million for gratuity and pension and everybody rolled out the drums to praise the governor. But I must tell you, for state civil service alone, the government of Ondo state released N3billion for gratuity alone, that is beside the primary school teachers and the local government pensioners.
“As I am talking to you, our pensioners get their salaries even before our salaries. Everybody is being carried along. for several years in Owena Press Limited, all those who have retired have not gotten a dime from the state government, either as pension or gratuity. But we took the case through the Head of Service and just three months ago, as I am talking to you now, they have been paid fully all retirees of Owena Press Limited.
“Even as at today, the Owena Press Limited staff have received December salary. Judiciary workers have also been paid December salary. As at today, except for the one inherited, that is January 2017 salary, government is not owing workers in the Judiciary and Owena Press Limited.
“Here, this time last year before all of us, and before the men of God, and as at then we were still battling with the salaries of staff in the state. But as at today, we only have just one month salary left to pay and the Governor still has two years plus to spend. We are double sure that you will not only pay the arrears of salaries, we believe that even by this year December, with that of Pastor Kayode Ogundele, we will receive 13months salary.
“Mr. Governor, I want to inform you that all workers in the public service of Ondo State either in the Civil Service, SUBEB, TESCOM, Juridical, amongst others, who are due for 2022 promotion, all of us have gotten our letters of promotion.
“In some neighbouring states, we have some states who have five letters of promotion that are yet to be implemented. In Ondo State, as we get our letters of promotion, we are getting the Accountant General and Commissioner for Finance implement it, and we get it in terms of promotion and finance.
“Mr. Governor Sir, I can only say that the choice of Pastor Ogundele is the best choice of Head of Service in Ondo State, I can best describe him as a round peg in a round role. People are talking of security, we have seen it with our own eyes, when I was coming from the countdown around 3am, I saw Amotekun at every junction, I was wondering so this people are truly doing the job.
“Sir, I want to say this clearly, I don’t care what anybody says, Labour is not only to criticise the government but to also appreciate the government when they are doing good. What can we say, the Governor promised to pay, and he has paid. What else do we want, to whom much is given, much is expected. On behalf of all workers in Ondo State, I can assure you we will double our efforts, we will continue to do what is good for this state.