Strike: How Osun PDP Hijacked Labour Leaders

Investigations have shown that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State had hijacked the struggle of workers in the state, using it as a means of destabilising the administration of Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
It was gathered that all efforts to make labour leaders in the state to see reasons with the government on the issue of minimum wage failed, because they (Labour leaders) enjoyed the backing of the PDP hierarchy, to make the state ungovernable.
Various negotiations between the state government and labour leaders had hit brickwall, as the latter refused to compromise, despite government shifting its ground for the third time since the negotiations commenced.
Findings revealed that prior to the inauguration of Mr. Rauf Aregbesola-led administration in the state, the PDP, through the state Head of Service, Elder SegunAkinwusiand the then Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji FataiAkinbade, infiltrated the labour union leadership, imposing their stooges on the unions.
The case between the factional leaders of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state and that of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is still pending before court, where the aggrieved faction is seeking redress on the matters.
It was gathered that the PDP used the imposed leaders to break the rank and file of the unions and subdue the struggle of the unionduring the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
The same set of leaders were said to be acting under the influence of their benefactors, to frustrate Aregbesola, so that he would be unable to deliver dividends of democracy to the teeming populace of the state, as they insisted that government should use funds meant for developmental project to pay wages.
Checks revealed that one of the labour leaders was traced to the dwelling house of a PDP chieftain, whose ambition of becoming a governor was thwarted and is looking for all means to discredit the present administration in the state.
One of the plans of the union leaders was to incite their members against Aregbesola by presenting him as being anti-workers, which explained the manner the TUC chairman, Comrade Francis Adetunji presented the state government’s position at their Fakunle Grammar School congress, after discussion with state government representatives.
He emphasised that the governor was deviant on the position of workers, when he called-in from Mecca, where he was performing the lesser hajj, creating the impression that his call halted the progress of the negotiation, a situation that further infuriated the workers against the governor.
Besides, the medium gathered that the opposition party, which had been looking for a means of attacking Aregbesola, seized the opportunity of the industrial crisis, to infiltrate the state work force, with a view to paralyzing government activities in the state.
So far, the trick seems to be working, as the labour leaders had succeeded in pitching the labour force against the state government, refusing all the proposals of the government, pushing the strike into its fourth week.
Also, the labour leaders had refused to present facts to back its claim, that the state governmenthave sufficient funds to pay the new wage across board, as they demanded on various occasions, when journalists requested for proof.
They (labour) accused the government of trying to give junior workers undeserved compensation at the detriment of senior civil servants.
At their congress at Fakunle Area of the state capital last Friday, after the state government had agreed to pay N19,001 to the least paid workers, the labour leaders vowed to continue staying at home until the government pays senior servants, even if it means removing the additional N1,000 it added to the least paid worker.

Sovereign Wealth Fund: Federalism Please

At last, the governments in the 36 states of the federation are up in
arms with the federal government over the constitutionally contentious
imposition of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) on them. Of course, the
surprise is that Nigeria Governors Forum is only just waking up late
in the day to grasp the implication of a development which, apart from
further extending the frontiers of the fiscal powers of the federal
behemoth, is clearly in practice, antithetical to the principles of
fiscal federalism.
Like the excess crude account which preceded it – a federal
imposition and a constitutional anomaly at that, the federal
government obviously assumes that it can make the extant bad fiscal
practice good, by fiat of legislation – while ignoring the grave
matter of its constitutionality.
The point about the Sovereign Wealth Fund is not so much about the
merit of the idea or even the principle underlying it. The beef its
complete disregard of the law which establishes the autonomy of states
as fiscal entities in the Nigerian federation.
We are certainly not opposed to the idea that federal and state
governments should set aside something for the rainy day. For a
wasting asset such as oil to which generations unborn are equally
entitled, a trust fund such as the SWF ordinarily recommends itself as
a moral imperative as well as a practical, fiscal necessity.
But then we say that good intentions are not enough. Clearly, the SWF
idea, as currently propounded ignores the fundamental truth that the
constitution is unambiguous in its provision that all monies accruing
into the federation account should be shared in accordance with the
existing revenue formula. The 1999 Constitution, as Amended is
unequivocal about where the powers of appropriation for each tier of
government in the federation lay and grants no exceptions whatsoever:
for the federal government, it is the National Assembly while the
state houses of assembly are the prescribed authority for the states.
The SWF Act, by implication, purports to impose the savings on the
states while also effectively ousting the powers of state parliaments
to appropriate monies belonging to them.
The SWF Act, as it is presents an example of legislative overreach by
the National Assembly. It is not hard to see that the law flows from
the seed sown and nurtured during the administration of President
Olusegun Obasanjo that the 36 states are no more than appendages of
the federal government. It feeds on the same mindset that the central
government is all-knowing, infallible, and like a powerful
unchallengeable principal, has the monopoly of knowledge on what is
best both for itself but also for the states.
That is clearly nonsense. Our constitution is unpretentiously federal
and hence must be nurtured to remain so in practice. The federal
government is at liberty to save its monies in whatever instruments it
desires. What it cannot do is impose any savings on the states in
flagrant disobedience of the constitution. Much as the idea of savings
seems “good”, SWF as it is – is incurably defective on constitutional
grounds.
The bottom-line is that each state has its own peculiarities and
priorities. Why should the federal government impose the burden of
extortionate savings on Osun State for instance, which has crying
needs for funds for development? Isn’t today’s capital investment
laying the foundations for tomorrow’s prosperity?
Why should the federal government – after keeping its own – also seek
to keep what belongs to Osun simply because it thinks it knows what is
best for the people?
We have no problems with states being encouraged to subscribe to the
SWF; our contention is that it must be strictly on their own terms and
in accordance with the constitution. The federal government should
perish the notion that it alone is fiscally responsible when the
reality is that it is far more culpable in fiscal recklessness than
the states whom it often accuses.
We endorse the position of the Nigeria Governors Forum on the
workability of the SWF as presently designed. The governors have the
support of the people hence they should stand firm on the federal
principle. Their capitulation can only be at the cost of further
eroding the sacred precincts of our federalism.


It’s well!

Still on Why Osun Workers Must Call off their Strike…

Dear Editor of Osun Defender, I want us to look at the issues very clearly. There are 20,000 mainstream civil servants in Osun. Osun has a population of about 3.9 million people. By the workers claims, the state gets 3.9 Billion naira every month as total revenue.

Salaries and wages alone take 1.8billion naira, we are not told what goes to pension and gratuities monthly, Overhead; that is the cost of running government etc. Government said outstanding as at June 2011 on gratuities alone was 2.4billion naira but 150million naira is allocated monthly to gratuities while 400million naira is the monthly allocation for pension.

When you add this up you have 2.35billion Naira going to 0.5556% of the population out of 3.5 Billion naira. This means 60.256% 0f the state resources going to less than 1% of the population!

It is simply inccredible! Let us imagine what is required to get portable water to the citizenry, roads, clean environment,health care infrastructure and drugs, education infrastructure and materials, agricultural supports for massive food production, industrialization, sports development, commerce promotion, urban renewal etc. We have not added the cost of the unique youth engagement programme of the state of Osun called OYES; which draws 200million naira monthly as allowances to the 20,000 volonteers who are used for public and social works and services.

Please do not forget the 18.3billion naira loan which Oyinlola took at the twilight of his tenure and for which 615 Million naira was monthly paid until March 2011 when Ogbeni refinanced it with the First Bank and crashed the cost of servicing to about 65million naira monthly. Government is not however saying it will limit permanently the benefit of workers to what it is offering. No, Government says let us have a salaries and wages commission composed of workers representatives, Government and professional consultants that will regularly review revenue and regulate wages without rancour.

Without prejudice, there should not be further acrimony in Osun. 1.2 billion naira already offered the workers is reasonable for the time being. This is 30.77% of the revenue to 0.5556% of the population. When you add pension and gratuities it becomes 44.87%. Subventions to tertiary institutions in the state are not included in this analysis so far. Remember that there are two Polytechnics, two Colleges of education, one College of health technology, one jointly owned University and one solely owned University.

All told we are looking at another monthly commitment of about 800million naira, as subventions. I honestly urge our labour leaders to rethink their hard line and call off the strike. The real truth is that the minimum wage act for all intent and purpose is for the vulnerable junior workers.

Ogbeni has shown considerable commitment to labour and his gesture must be appreciated please. He needs the support of all to raise the IGR of the state from the miserable 300million naira level to an appreciable level that will support the huge financial needs of Ipinle Omoluabi.

Labour activism is required to block all leakages in revenue mobilization. Productivity must improve for wages to meaningfully increase.

By Ifadiya Akinade

Osun State Emerges Best In Nigeria As It Approves N19,001 As Minimum Wage

The Osun State Government, yesterday, surprised its workers by approving N19, 001 for the least paid worker in the state.

The contentious National Minimum Wage Act provides for N18;000 minimum.

A statement by the state’s Director, Bureau of Communications & Strategy, Semiu Okanlawon, said the implementation of the new wage had taken effect with the government executing the Minimum Wage Law for workers on Levels 01 to 07.

The N19,001 minimum wage exceeds the N18,000 minimum wage prescribed by the Minimum Wage Law recently enacted by the Federal Government which makes Osun State one of the highest paying of the 36 states.

Okanlawon also said  the government at the negotiation table also approved substantial raise in the salaries of other grade levels.

He said the government  approved additional N7,429,50 for workers from Levels 8 to 10; N6,611 for workers on Levels 12 to 14 while N5,096.40 had been added to salaries of workers on Levels 15 to 17.

In the statement, the government reassured the workers’ representatives that government was poised to ensure that workers in the state emerge the best paid throughout the country.

The government promised to review salaries as soon as the Internally Generated Revenue of the State improves.

The government also reminded workers of the plan to set up the Salaries and Wages Commission which will fix salaries and wages of workers according to the increase in the financial fortunes of the state.

Osun State has  workforce of less than 45,000 of which 21,000 are civil servants and about 20,000 special employees under the state’s employment generation scheme, OYEES.

Sources also put the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, at close to N300 million a month

COMPASS AND BIMBO OGUNNAIKE’S DIATRIBE : A CHEAP HATCHET JOB

compass newspaper

Bimbo Ogunnaike of COMPASS, This is a Sham Report. If you have done this unconsciously not knowing the truth,may the Almighty Forgive you. If you are an accomplice to this unprofessional and evil venture,may the Almighty deal with you most appropriately.

This is a fitting beginning to a patently diabolical misinformation. I happen to be to be privy to Aregbesola’s trips and believe I owe it to God, Truth and The public, to correct the farce this report so devilishly propagates

Concretely , Aregbesola has had to embark on trips abroad since he assumed office for 3 reasons : Spiritual , Government Business & Personal. Interestingly, in most cases these trips and their motives were made known to the public,( and there are references for this), before such trips were made. So, one wonders, where the writer got his falsehood from.

Aregbesola travelled to Saudi Arabia in December 2010, shortly after his inauguration as Governor in the company of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Baba Amzat(a Principal Chieftain of the ACN in Lagos) and his Wife, to thank God, for the fulfillment of His promise. The trip lasted three days. It covered Madinah, Makkah and Jeddah without a cost to the state of Osun. This trip was absolutely spiritual.

Shortly after the April Elections, In May , Aregbesola honoured the long sought Invitation of the London Council of Southwark, made by it’s Nigerian Born Mayor , Mr Tayo Sittu to explore Osun – Southwark partnership possibilities. The Governor spent a week engaging stakeholders in the diaspora and granting interviews. He then proceeded to have a week’s rest. This was an official visit.

In May, On the occasion of his daughter’s graduation from a Medical school in the UAE, Aregbesola made a private visit , again widely publicised. On completion of the graduation ceremonies, Aregbesola proceeded on a 1 week, intensive Medical checkup in India. This was a purely private visit without official aide and security details.

By June, The Governor, after very careful consideration, decided to honour the Invitation of The All China Federation of Trade Union, a major independent Trade union movement in a Country that has grown to be a significant trading and investment force any serious Leader would reckon with . This was also covered in the Media. The ACFTU sponsored the China – Osun Conference, in which the Governor actively participated.The Governor also engaged with the CADFUND, The China-Africa Development Fund, where Foreign Direct Investment options were discussed. As well, the state representation, met with CMEC, an Infrastructure Development Company. It is worth noting that this China engagement trip, was facilitated by Mr Hassan Sunmonu ; Secretary General of Organisation of African Trade Union (OOATU), Accra, Ghana.This trip lasted two weeks and was widely reported by the main organs of news in the country. There was no medical issue about it though.

Aregbesola is at his Yearly Umrah trip to Saudi Arabia, which has been a tradition for twelve years? He will be spending the last 10 days of Ramadhan, Fasting, and Keeping Vigil, seeking the mercy, grace and favor of Allah SWT for himself, family, Osun, Nigeria and for the general good of humanity.

You see, Bimbo Ogunnaike, but for the negative distraction your piece would have on the public, I wouldn’t have replied you. Indeed, you have sold your journalistic honour cheaply. It is irresponsible to say the least.

The question, is really not about How Many Times The Governor has been Out of the Country, Rather How his presence in/outside the country has impacted the affairs of the State. And that’s why, you should be careful at putting words in the Mouth of the Dead. Chief Ganiyu Fawehinmi, being from a similar activist background, would know Aregbesola better than you, and I believe, would have sought his opinion, before equating his trips to others. By the way what is your objective parameter for the obviously misguided comparison?

The achievements of Osun State, Since Novemeber 2010, are such that are arguably unrivalled,to the Glory of God, in the history of the State and Perhaps in that of Nigeria. Aregbesola promised to create 20000 jobs, within 100 days of Government. By February, Aregbesola, while in/out of the country, He vigorously led his Government to deliver Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme, OYES, a 20000 strong volunteer corp, helping with the state’s intervention programmes and for which the Governor has very high Expectations.

By April this Year, Osun state had successfully run, an Education Summit and The ‘Omoluabi’ State Rebranding. In the April Polls, and to The Glory of God Almighty, Aregbesola performed the electoral and political feat of Delivering all contested posts, a feat which pundits didn’t see coming for Osun, a feat that re- affirms the Mandate Aregbesola fought for 3 years , a feat that places Osun in the enviable and honourable state of Resolute Progressive Champions.

Between April and November, the State has made some progress in it’s Rural Enterprise Initiave , OREAP , by commencing the building of inner access roads to Farmlands, to curtail the well known challenge Farmers.bitterly complain they encounter, OCLEAN, the Osun Sanitation Initiative was launched to promote a new Sanitation culture within the State. Also worth mentioning was the release of N150 million to the Farmers’ Cooperative to boost Preparations for the incoming seasons, The spectacular refinancing of the debilitating N18.3 billion loan recklessly taken and spent by profligate Oyinlola administration at the twilight of his tenure. A feat which has saved the state a sum of 4 billion naira on servicing the loan in the immediate and a total of 20billion naira in all, if left to fully mature.

Aregbesola, is not known to do things for Superficial or Subjective reasons, He often sticks to Objectivism perhaps to a Fault. Close associates had expressed concerns on these trips appearing to be frequent. Aregbesola rather taught us, that True leaders will be judged by their Performance and not by the number of Trips made. True leaders make hard choices, even when it may myopically look unpopular. The Truth is, a simple benchmarking of the achievements of his government, in the past 8 Months, as listed above, to current or past Governments, would tell of his Performance and Busy-ness. You see, Times have changed, Technology now allows a leader to direct and drive the business of government wherever and whenever they so desire.

Simply ask yourself, which government do you know within the country, to have made such a bold interventionist response to the very sad unemployment challenge of our country. Or do you think,20000 is insignificant? If you do, come to Osun, and see how this has changed the lives of people for good. And, by God’s Grace, there’s more in the Kitty for OYES and the State.

Osun A dara
Ademulegun Akimgboye

Students President Appeal to Osun state workers

students mobilizeThe National Association of Osun State Students'(NAOSS) LAUTECH chapter president, Mr. Babatunde Hafeez Olanrewaju hereby appeal to the leadership of the NLC & TUC to reconcile with the state government.

At this point in time we cannot remain watching with grave concern the indefinite strike been embarked upon by the workers in the state.We cannot afford to fold our hands and watch this mindless destruction of the future of our brothers and sisters in affected institutions across the state.

We are aware of the implications which the 18000 minimum wage demanded by workers across board will have on Osun state students,the public waiting for the dividend of democracy and the economy of the state at large.

The executive governor of the state, Mr RAUF said, the monthly allocation from the federation account to the state was in range of 1.8billion totalling 2.1billion. He said the workers will gulp 1.9billion and the state will be left with just 200million which he said is not enough to run the state affairs, the workers should pls be considerate.The Osun state government claimed to have accepted d new minimum wage principle and agree to pay from level 1 to 7 and pend that of 8 to 17 till the finance of the state is improved.

To this effect, the authorities concerned should discuss and negotiate with the leadership of the workers in an atmosphere of utmost honesty.We finally appeal to well meaning Nigerians,religious leaders and opinion leaders to join in appealling to the workers in the state to resolve the conflict between the workers and the state government.Mr RAUF should please be given breathing space,to move our enviable state forward. Aluta continua

Courtesy Visit To President of Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah

Osun State Governor Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, during the courtesy visit to the President of Islamic Development Bank Dr. Ahmed Mohamed, along with his Oyo State counterpart Senator Abiola Ajimobi and his wife Mrs florence Ajimobi, during their visit to (IDB) office Jeddah Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…

OYES, O-CLEAN clears water channels for Osun-Osogbo festival

As preparations for the 2011 edition of Osun-Osogbo festival reached high tempo, a combined team of the Osun State Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) and the environmental sanitation agency tagged O-CLEAN on Tuesday went round the state capital to carry out the clearance of of debris and refuse from water channels.

While the OYES was led by its state Commandant, retired Colonel Enibukun Oyewole, the Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on the Environment, Hon. Bola Ilori led the O-CLEAN during the exercise.

The two bodies had acted on a weather forecast Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) which predicted that heavy rainfall could be expected in Osogbo, the state capital and adjoining towns.

As early as 9 o’clock, the OYES volunteers were seen inspecting the channels of Fakunle Comprehensive High School, Osogbo while the O-Clean group also carried out sanitation exercise around Alekunwodo market.

It would be recalled that heavy rainfall which took place on July 7 last year led to flooding that killed several residents of Osogbo while property worth several millions of Naira were destroyed and swept away.

Last June, Governor Rauf Aregebsola awarded a contract of N187.5 million for the dredging, desiltation and de-flooding of Okorokoro and Alekunwodo streams in the state capital to check the menace of flooding.

Osun, Oyo Condemn Attack On Osun Indigenes In LAUTECH

The two states of Oyo and Osun had regretted the crisis that erupted at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso on Wednesday, where staffers, who were indigenes of Osun State, were reportedly attacked by hoodlums.

It would be recalled thatmembers of staff of the university, who were indigenes of Osun State, were reportedly attacked on Wednesday by hoodlums, allegedly sponsored by the former governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, who initiated the ownership crisis of LAUTECH between the two states.

At a meeting between the representatives of the two states led by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and the deputy governor of Osun State, Otunba Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, the duo sympathized with the victims of the crisis and promised that they would do everything possible to avert similar incident in the future.

In a communiqué issued after the meeting, the two states agreed that adequate security measures should be put in place to ensure safety of all students, staffers and properties of the institutions both in Osogbo and Ogbomoso.

To lay the ownership crisis of the university to bed completely, the two states agreed that a Technical Committee should be constituted immediately, to look at all issues pertaining to the institution and submit their reports within 4 weeks from the date of commencement of sitting.

Pending the resolution of issues in contention, the two states, as agreed at the meeting, would continue to honour their commitments with reference to payment of all salaries and allowances of all members of staff of the University and the Teaching Hospitals.

It was agreed that salaries of the University and the Teaching Hospitals would be paid by the Osun State Government effective from Friday, 19th August, 2011.

In the meantime, students in clinical classes, that is, 400 to 600 levels, had been directed to return immediately to the Teaching Hospital in Osogbo to resume classes, with a view to preventing unnecessary elongation of the students’ programmes.

The lecturers had also been urged to resume academic activities in Osogbo in the interest of the students and the general public.

The two states had agreed to jointly pursue accreditation of the Teaching Hospital in Ogbomoso and re-accreditation of the Teaching Hospital in Osogbo immediately.

They then appealed to both Oyo and Osun indigenes, to embrace peace in the spirit of their forefathers, whose dream of founding the university was to educate their children, adding that the founding fathers believed in the historical, cultural, social and economic heritage that bind the two states together.

In a similar development, knocks and criticism had not stopped bashing the attack on Osun State indigenes in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso by some thugs.

The National Association of Osun State Students (NAOS), Comrade Mubarak Adepoju, described the attack as ungodly and cruel, calling on security agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice.

According to Adepoju, the terror unleashed on the Osun State indigenes at LAUTECH, Ogbomoso was sponsored by politicians, who were bitter about the reconciliation of Oyo and Osun State governments, on the joint ownership of the institution.

He said the attack was attestation to the fact that some politicians, who are loyal to the former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala, were finding their ways to polarise LAUTECH students and staff in order to frustrate them out of the institution’s campus.

Adepoju, a LAUTECH student, stated this last Friday in a telephone interview with OSUN DEFENDER.

Maintaining that the attack on the Osun State indigenes was pre-planned by the perpetrators, Adepoju described the attackers as thugs, miscreants, illiterates and frustrated human beings among the residents of Ogbomoso.

The students’ president, however, called on the students of the institution, who are Osun State indigenes to remain peaceful and law-abiding, saying that peace is one of the unique characteristics of the state.

He therefore called on Oyo State government and the state police command to fish-out those who sponsored the attack and the perpetrators, saying that doing that would curb discrimination among the students and workers of the institution.

Adepoju stressed that there were possibilities of further attacks on Osun indigenes if the perpetrators and their accomplices were not brought to book.