Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji has urged organised labour to call off its nationwide strike, which is set to begin on Tuesday in the interest of the country’s economy.
Oyebanji, who previously stated that the industrial action would have a detrimental impact on the economy and further plunge people into extreme poverty, also stated that the government at all levels was making every effort to address the financial issues brought on by the removal of fuel subsidies.
The governor said in his speech on Sunday to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of Nigeria’s independence and the state’s 27th anniversary that his administration was dedicated to realising the founding fathers’ vision for the socioeconomic development of the state.
He urged the citizens and the labour movement to have faith in the ability of the president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to turn things around for the better and place the country on the pedestal of an economic boom with his policies and programmes.
According to him, ”Ekiti kete, there is no doubt that times are hard now and tough for most people and government. We are nationally contending with a serious macroeconomic slope which is affecting our micro-economic management capacity at sub-national and even at individual levels. The current economic challenges is as a result of a confluence of economic issues that have spiraled into galloping inflation which has rendered income earners almost prostrate.
“On our part, we 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, the 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 the board soonest. The good news is that, even, for those not earning salaries directly from the government, with more money available for workers as more disposable income and more money for the 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.
“I, therefore, want to appeal to the organized labour movement to exercise absolute patience and dialogue in resolving the current economic challenges. We cannot afford to compound the already tense 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 incalculable damage to the economy and which may be difficult to reverse in the immediate.”
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