Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has assured that no worker in the payroll of the state government would earn less than the national minimum wage.
Makinde gave the assurance during the 2020 interfaith prayer programme held at State Secretariat, Ibadan to usher in the new year.
Though he noted that the minimum wage negotiation committee was working towards alignment of the figures, Makinde avowed that “no worker in Oyo state will earn below the national minimum wage”.
Noting that his decision was a consequence of planning, he said that state government will pay the national minimum wage once it signs the agreement to that effect.
“Take this home, our collective decision will be agreeable, affordable and sustainable. Before this administration came in on May 29, 2019, they were paying the subventions to higher institutions in percentages. Just before the previous administration left, they moved it to 100 per cent and we have been paying it since we came in.
“We are planning and once we sign that agreement, we will pay it. We won’t pay in percentages and no worker in Oyo state will earn below the national minimum wage,” Makinde said.
Earlier in her remarks, State Head of Service, Mrs Ololade Agboola gave the assurance that the letter of reinstatement of earlier dismissed workers will soon be released.
Meanwhile, touching on the several fire incidents in the state as regrettable evidence of failings of the system over the years, Makinde said he accepted full responsibility of the failings.
Though he noted that he had directed full investigations into immediate and remote causes of the fire incidents, Makinde announced that the state government will particularly rebuild the Akesan market, Oyo.
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He added that the state government will begin a process of providing support to the market people that lost their wares.
He however urged residents of the state to be cautious and safety conscious to prevent recurrence of fire incidents.
“I express my deep sadness over the recent loss of lives and properties because of the various fires in Oyo state and the more recent Akesan fire incident. This is deeply regretted.
Of course, things happen that signal a failure in our system. I promised to protect the lives and properties of everyone living within the borders of Oyo state so I take full responsibility for these failings. I promise you I will make things right.
“Already we have started the bidding process for 10 new fire trucks. I have also called for investigations into the immediate and remote causes of these fires. We are also rebuilding the market (Akesan) and we will begin a process of providing support to the market people that lost their wares,” Makinde added.
Makinde subsequently visited the razed market for on-the-spot assessment and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi in commiseration over the incident.
Standing beside Makinde on the rubles of the market, the teary-eyed Iyaloja of Akesan market, Mrs Khadijat Bakare wept about the loss of wares, millions of naira to the inferno.
Lamenting that the livelihoods of several families had been gravely affected, she prayed that the state government quickly provides palliatives for the affected persons to pick up their lives.
Speaking at the palace of the Alaafin, Makinde avowed that the state government will give priority to the affected occupants in stalls allocation when the market is rebuilt.
In consonance with the Alaafin, he assured of the rebuilding of the market in “shortest possible time”.
Oba Adeyemi, in his response, said though several assurances had been given from different quarters, he only relied on the state government for the rebuilding of the market.
The Alaafin decried thuggery and the loss of values among the youths of Oyo town, such that while the market was burning, some saw it as an opportunity to loot.
He assured of assisting the government in rebuilding the market, urging Makinde to assist those who lost their wares in the incident.
“What I did in this palace was done with my personal money. We can’t be deceived. We trust only the government for the rebuilding of the market. We trust the governor’s words and pray to God for him he lives to his words.
“Please, assist those who lost their wares because many of those women are breadwinners of their families. We’ll work assiduously to assist the government in all ramifications,” Oba Adeyemi said.