The Executive Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde has expressed gratitude to the workforce in commemoration of the 2023 Workers’ Day.
Makinde, who made this statement while celebrating Oyo State workers on the occasion of this year’s International Workers’ Day also referred to as May Day, acknowledged the commitment and support of the state labour force which has translated to economic success under his administration.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Governor Makinde as saying that there is the need to tackle unemployment by creating more jobs and taking more people into the employment pool.
The governor explained that his administration has given adequate priority to the welfare of workers, stating that it paid the increment from the backlog of promotions and consequential adjustment, as well as 100 per cent subventions to Oyo State-owned tertiary institutions.
He added that his administration will continue to prioritise the welfare of civil servants and public servants in the state by ensuring that backlog of promotions and leave bonuses are cleared.
The governor commended the organised Labour Unions for maintaining a harmonious relationship with the state government, pledging that the state would look inwards to address issues that will enable entrepreneurs in the state to evolve and expand their operations.
He said: “Welcome to the Workers’ Day Celebration 2023. Everyone here is playing an important role in keeping the economic wheels of Oyo State on the right track, and for this, I say thank you.
“It is because of your labour that Oyo State is now one of the top five economies in Nigeria. And with your help, I know that we will keep growing and getting better.
“Our first four years of serving you, the good people of Oyo State, is gradually coming to a close. In just 27 days, we will crossover to Omituntun 2.0. For the civil servants here, in 24 days, we would be celebrating a full 48 months of a promise kept.
“When we came into office, we pledged never to pay Oyo State workers with “bear with us” at the end of any month.
“You all are witnesses to the fact that the GSM day, the 25th of every month, remained sacrosanct this past 47 months.
“Not only that, we started paying the minimum wage from January 2020 till date.
“We also paid the increments from the backlogs of promotions and consequential adjustments as well as paying 100 per cent subvention to state-owned tertiary institutions.
“Even though this increased our wage bill from N4.7 billion to N7.2 billion monthly, we have met our obligations promptly each month.
“Because of our consistently paying these salaries, the economic wheels of the state remained oiled. Traders were assured that people would buy from them because they had money in their pockets. Banks could offer credit because they knew that the people had regular, consistent income.
“Investors could come to the state because they knew that a vibrant economy meant the people had more spending power.”
The governor added that apart from his administration paying salaries and pensions as and when due, it has also invested in reducing the infrastructure deficit in the state, adding that this has had a multiplier effect on the economy.
According to him, his administration’s performance in building infrastructure meant that travel times were cut short by interconnecting the different zones with road projects.
“The more roads we built; the more development followed. Our Internally Generated Revenue increased massively by over 90 per cent,” he added.
Makinde declared that things can only get better for the state under Omituntun. 2.0, as his government has been able to lay the proper groundwork that will make the sustainable development vision possible within the next four years.
He asked the workforce and the people of the state to continue to support his administration and to continue to be diligent in whatever roles they play, saying: “Omituntun 1.0 was good. Omituntun 2.0 will be better. Having laid the proper groundwork by following the Oyo State Roadmap for Accelerated Development 2019-2023, it is now time to move to sustainable development.
“Although the unemployment rate in Oyo State is lower than the national average, we know unemployment is a problem that we must tackle.
“We need more jobs. We must create more jobs. So, under Omituntun 2.0, we will embark on an aggressive global investment drive.
“Our message to the world is simple, come and invest in Oyo State in Agribusiness, Renewable Energy, Solid Minerals, and Tourism. Oyo State is open for business.
“We restate that by the grace of God, we will continue to maintain the GSM date for paying Civil Servants’ salaries under Omituntun 2.0. And for our entrepreneurs and investors, we will continue to play our part to make the Oyo State economic environment a place where the private sector will thrive.”
Earlier, in their separate messages, the chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Oyo State, Comrade Kayode Martins and the Chairman of the Trade Union Congress in the state, Comrade Bosun Olabiyi, commended Governor Makinde for prompt and regular payment of salary to workers in the state.
The duo charged the state government and other employers of labour to give room for cordial dialogue, especially on issues pertaining to conditions of service.
Others, who spoke at the event included traditional rulers and former labour union leaders.
They commended the state government for its harmonious relationship with workers.
Present at the event were the wife of the governor, Mrs. Tamunominini Makinde; Deputy Governor, Barrister Bayo Lawal; the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Iyabo Yerima; Head of Service, Alhaja Ololade Agboola, and other top government functionaries.