Oyebanji to labour, strike will compound already tensed situation

* Six pillars of my administration crafted as response to challenges of insecurity, unemployment, poverty and inequality – Gov

By John Odunjo

Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, on Sunday appealed to the Organised Labour to exercise patience and dialogue and as well have a rethink over its proposed nationwide industrial action in order not to compound the already tensed situation in the country.

The Organised Labour has fixed October 3 for the commencement of the nationwide strike which it said would be total and indefinite

But Oyebanji, in his statewide address to mark the 27 years of creation of Ekiti State and the 63rd independence anniversary of Nigeria, appealed to labour, “We cannot afford to compound the already tensed situation by shutting down this extremely fragile economy. It will be like cutting one’s nose to spite one’s own face.

“Whatever may be gained thereafter will be nothing but a temporary victory which would have done an incalculable damage to the economy and which may be difficult to reverse in the immediate.

“Therefore, I want to appeal to the organized labour movement to exercise absolute patience and dialogue in resolving the current economic challenges.

The governor said, “A hot pap must be sipped gently so as not to cause more damage unto an already precarious situation. Accordingly, government and labour have been in constant engagements for sometimes, I am pleased to note that the President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is confronting these challenges frontally and the country will be better for it in the long run.

“On our part, we (Ekiti) have undertaken some interventions to cushion the impact of the subsidy removal on our people. Apart from the direct food distribution and cash transfer to the most vulnerable, government has also made buses available to staff and students, especially in the state capital, to ameliorate the cost of transportation.

“We therefore appeal to our local governments to replicate this in their respective local government areas.

Beyond this however, is that, the Federal Government has promised that there will be a wage review across board soon.

“The good news is that, even, for those not earning salaries directly from government, with more money available for workers as more disposable income and more money for government to undertake critical infrastructure development, more jobs will be available and the circular flow of money will ensure that the current monetary challenges will give way to the envisaged shared prosperity”.

Oyebanji hailed the efforts of the founding fathers, which culminated in the creation of Ekiti State 27 years ago and as well all past governors of the state.

On Ekiti at 27, he said, “While everything seems like yesterday, we have abundant reasons to say indeed, the creation was justified. In terms of physical and economic development, our state has moved on progressively. Politically, the State is now an important factor in Nigeria’s political enterprise. In many aspects of Human Development Indices (HDIs), we have excelled.

“Ekiti is a front-liner in education, life expectancy, access to quality healthcare services, physical infrastructure development, access to water, peace, ease-of-doing business, gender equality, social inclusion among others. Gradually and assuredly, Ekiti is building a formidable profile of a progressive and development-oriented State that is poised for inclusive prosperity for all.

He assured that the six pillars of his administration were carefully crafted as response to the challenges of insecurity, unemployment, poverty and inequality.

Oyebanji said, “The six pillars of our administration’s development agenda, will primarily ensure a shared prosperity for all Ekiti people. We are determined to ensure job creation and life abundance for our people. We believe in inclusive growth and collective development without leaving anyone behind. As it can be seen in our efforts so far, our Government is very focused and strategic in our development drive”.

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