Government business and academic activities in public schools were paralysed as civil servants and teachers in Ekiti State began an indefinite strike on Thursday to protest the non-payment of five-month arrears of salaries and deductions.
This followed the expiration of a 48-hour ultimatum issued by the state councils of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiation Council (JNC).
State chairmen – Ade Adesanmi (NLC); Odunayo Adesoye (TUC) and Oladele Blessing (JNC)- noted that they had no option than to strike “having displayed uncommon understanding over the financial position of the state” and endured with Governor Ayo Fayose.
The state secretariat housing Ministries, Departments and Agencies, new Governor’s Office, old Governor’s Office, the High Court complex, House of Assembly complex and all public schools were deserted.
The unions in a May 23 letter to Governor Ayo Fayose said the non-payment of salaries, pensions, gratuities and deductions have inflicted hardship on workers and retirees.
The workers accused Fayose of lack of accountability and insincerity on the state’s actual wage bill.
They also accused the governor of not being transparent on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
They said: “Government made us believed that over N500million will be saved monthly from the screening exercise of April 2015. But for over a year, the report of the screening exercise has not been made public.
“The monthly wage bill of N2.6 billion as put up by the government is not acceptable to us.
“The amount declared as IGR is not transparent enough; the highest of N280 million is too low in view of the aggressive IGR embarked upon by the administration since its inception.”
Fayose has been busy going to Kparaga joint, Mama put restaurant and Agbo Jeji-Jedi sector. *Laughs!*