I won’t Dash Your Hope on New Minimum Wage, Oyebanji Assures Ekiti Workers

Sympathizes with worker over fuel scarcity, warns hoarders

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, has assured workers in the state that his government won’t dash their hope on the impending new minimum wage, saying he will act appropriately when the ongoing discussion is finalized at the federal level.


Dousing workers’ skepticism over government’s sincerity, Oyebanji said his government won’t stop the N15,000 Wage Award being paid to workers to cushion the effect of the inflation, pending the time the new minimum wage will become effective.

Oyebanji gave the assurance on Wednesday, while addressing workers, at a rally marking the 2024 edition of the May Day celebration held at the Ekiti Parapo Pavilion, Ado- Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.

Energizing the workers’ hope despite the astronomic increase in prices of commodities, Governor Oyebanji said his government, had implemented wage increase and consequential adjustment for workers on grade 13 and above, while also paying deductions to cooperatives in order to alleviate their sufferings.

The Governor, who was accompanied by his wife, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji; and Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye; at the event, said about 20,000 job seekers, have been employed into formal and informal sectors of the economy, with succour being provided in form of conditional cash grants and other palliatives to mitigate the effects of the ongoing economic crises on workers and other citizens.

Clarifying the government’s position on the touting New Minimum Wage, Oyebanji said: “I don’t want you to believe or go by the sensational story carried by newspapers today. I need to make clarifications because I don’t want to play politics with your welfare. No agreement has been made so far.

“The national is taking position on the New Minimum Wage, but it has not been finalized and the outcome of the agreement will be communicated to your leadership here.

“We have got to a point that we have seen ourselves as partners in progress. Whatever that is your welfare is a priority to me. You don’t need to lobby me on anything that has to do with your welfare.

“But pending the time an agreement will be reached and final position will be taken, we will continue with the payment of the wage award and other welfare in form of palliatives to workers. I know that I made some promises when I assumed office, I will not renege on them”.

Speaking about the spiraling fuel scarcity, the Governor sympathized with the workers, assuring that the government would work relentlessly to attract more supplies of Premium Motor Spirit to the state in order to cushion the current harrowing experience being felt by citizens.

He appealed to petrol marketers to act as humanists at this trying time and stop hoarding the product as well as indiscriminate hike in prices in the interest of the general populace.

“Let me sympathise with you on the hardship you are experiencing on fuel scarcity. But we are working hard to get the pains lessened. It is safe that the products are scarce . We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that we get regular and increased supplies to Ekiti . We are really sorry about this”.

Oyebanji warned those traders who are unleashing sufferings on the people by extorting them through astronomic increase in prices of commodities, urging them to see things from broader spectrum, rather than from narrow prism of profit making.

In their submissions, the State Chairmen of the Trade Union Congress(TUC), Com. Sola Adigun and his colleagues in the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC), Com Kolapo Olatunde, who spoke along the same line, were full of praises for the governor, for exhibiting enormous respect for workers and providing propitious grounds for them to operate.

For being friendly and receptive to approve some of their demands, the labour leaders, commended Oyebanji for increasing subvention to all tertiary institutions, effecting deductions to cooperatives, and for paying workers’ salaries as and when due.

In the same fashion, the labour chiefs saluted the Governor for magnanimously extending palliatives to workers to buffer the effect of the ongoing economic crisis on members, saying this has helped in making lives more comfortable and rewarding for members.

However, to cushion the hardships being confronted by members on account of spiraling inflation in the system, the Union leaders, demanded speedy replication of the new Minimum Wage in Ekiti, as soon as the legislative procedure is completed and secure presidential assent at the federal level.

In a rare show of appreciation, the labour leaders applauded the state government for absorbing their sacked members in the Ekiti State House of Assembly Service Commission, saying this further accentuated that the governor was incurably worker-friendly.

“We are also happy that the governor approved N10,000 Wage Award for our pensions and N15,000 for the civil servants. But we still want to ask as Oliver Twist, we are asking that the Minimum Wage should be replicated as soon as the bill is assented to by the President.

“We are also calling for the re- capitalisation of our housing and car loans to workers. It has not been recapitalised for 20 years. The maximum car loan now is N750,000, but this can’t buy a motorcycle, help us increase it”, they said.

Many of the workers had defied the early morning downpour in the state capital to make it to the Ekiti Parapo Pavilion, venue of the rally.

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