Osun State government had on Monday explained the reason for its inability to implement across the board, the new N18,000 minimum wage demanded by the workers, as the government accepted the implementation of payment of the minimum wage for workers on salaries grade levels 1 to 7.
According to the “New proposed salary structure” released by the government, the full implementation of the new salary structure across the board would jerk the staff salaries from N1.2bilion to N1.9 billion and the government would be left with just N200million, which it said was not enough to run the state, stressing that meaningful projects would then not be embarked on in the state.
The document indicated that it would require additional N700million to be able to accommodate the full implementation of the new wage increment across board and that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state was just N300million, while the monthly federal allocation to the state was in the range of N1.8billion, totaling 2.1billion.
The civil servants in the service of the Osun State government had on Monday embarked on indefinite strike action, over the new minimum wage, after the labour leaders and the state government failed to agree on the mode of implementation of the new wage.
Osun State secretariat, Abere in the state capital, was a ghost of itself, as workers refused to resume work, while most of the top government officials including the state Deputy Governor, Otunba Grace Laoye-Tomori, who were in the office could not stay for long as a result of the development.
However, there was heavy presence of police detachment at the gate of the secretariat to prevent breakdown of laws and orders.
At Olorunda and Osogbo Local Government Secretariats, visited by OSUN DEFENDER, most of the offices were under lock, while few workers at the council secretariat were just there to monitor the compliance of the workers.
All other government establishments including Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) were also providing skeletal services.
The state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Saka Adesiyan, and his counterpart in the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Adetunji Oladele, had on Sunday declared an indefinite strike action to press home their demands on the new minimum wage after failed negotiation with the state government.
The state governor Mr. Rauf Aregbesola led the delegation from the government side to a meeting with the labour leaders last Friday.
Also at the negotiation meeting were the state deputy governor, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and state Head of Service, Elder Segun Akinwusi.
It was gathered at the meeting that while the labour leaders insisted on full implementation of the new wage, the state government maintained that it could only accommodate the payment of minimum wage of N18, 000 for workers on levels 1 to 7, while wages for levels 8 to 17 would progress until finance of the state improves.
All pleas made by the government team to workers to reason with the state government fell on deaf ears, as workers there and then served the state government a notice of an indefinite strike action.