Workers in Ekiti State appear set for a showdown with Governor Ayo Fayose over his claim on Channels Television on Thursday that his administration is owing only four months arrears of salaries. The governor, who had earlier in the day declared his intent to run for the presidency of Nigeria in 2019, was asked on the propriety of his ambition when he was owing workers under him.
But the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Ekiti State, Raymond Ade Adesanmi, refuted the governor’s claim maintaining that “Fayose owes various categories of workers under him between five and eight months arrears of salaries. Adesanmi disclosed that Fayose’s claim of owing just only four months arrears is already causing tension and disquiet among the workforce.
He advised government “to always come out with correct information to douse the raging tension in the system.” Speaking with reporters in Ado-Ekiti on Saturday, Adesanmi said although the workers are still loyal to the government, they won’t tolerate comments about their welfare that could strain the relationship between the workforce and the government.
Clarifying the level of government’s indebtedness to workers, Adesanmi said: “The state workers’ benefits are in different categories thus: pension, gratuity, deductions and salary. “As we speak now, the state civil servants are owed five months’ salary arrears, local government, eight months and institutions on subvention, like College of Education Ikere, College of Health Technology Ijero and Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, are owed seven month salary arrears.
“One cannot but talk about the plight of the pensioners, because one day we will all retire, either on account of age or length of service. As of now, pensioners are being owed five months pension arrears while gratuity has not been paid since 2012 when former Governor Kayode Fayemi was in the saddle. Ekiti workers are not oblivious of the economic recession that had depleted the financial strength of many states of the federation, including Ekiti.Fayose
“Let me state that we all owe it a responsibility to contribute to the development of this state, but we need to give out correct and accurate information to the public , so that the government and workers can be on the same page, otherwise there will be friction. I want to appeal to the already restive workers to be patient, particularly those who were ruffled by the information,” he said.