Succour is on the way for Edo state pensioners, as the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Wednesday, promised to resolve all pension issues in the State so that all eligible pensioners can join the contributory pension scheme in January.
“We will resolve pension issues this month because we want to move into the pension scheme effective January”, a statement endorsed by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. John Mayaki quoted Governor Godwin Obaseki when he received the leadership of the organized labour led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Chairman Mr. Emmanuel Ademokun and his TUC counterpart Mr. Marshal Orhue.
Besides, Obaseki said that Government would not accept anything that would lead to loss of jobs by workers as the administration was committed to creating jobs.
He appealed to the organised labour to work with his administration as the administration’s goal was to make Edo one of the most attractive State in the country and that the organised labour has to be part of it.
Obaseki noted that though he may not wear kaki; the Labour uniform, but that he carries the struggle of the union in his heart and that there was the need to begin to think about outstanding issues to address.
According to Obaseki, “during my campaign, when I came to the Labour house, we talked about lots of issues and I mean all of them. We need to begin to rebuild the State and Nigeria. Struggling now is not about who is oppressed, because the era of oil boom is over, we need to focus on how to reclaim our country.”
According to Obaseki, “Edo has been reclaimed politically, but we need to reclaim it economically and socially”, he said.
The governor said that there was the need to address fundamental issues, adding that if challenges exist it was not because the organised labour and the government are on two different sides.
He stressed that there was need for all to sit down and be open, adding that in defending workers, you don’t indulge them.
In his words, “There is need for us to sit down and be open to ourselves because, in defending workers, you don’t indulge them. We have to increase our scope and be productive as well as change the mantra. We also need a total approach to work and our work environment – indeed we have lot of work to do”, he said.
Obaseki further gave assurance that however difficult the situation was, government would look for ways to address them. He said all issues would be addressed openly, dispassionately and fairly, adding that, “We should look at how our demands will stabilize the society”.
He emphasized that his administration was concerned about remuneration and compensation adding that government would do a facelift on work places in the state, since the environment was key to enhancing productivity.
Earlier Ademokun said that the government should look into the issue of redeployment of ICT staff in the state as there was dearth of workers in state ministries.
He appealed for urgent recruitment of workers to fill vacant positions.
He also called for timely and regular meetings between government and the organised labour to ensure industrial peace as Labour would always add value to governance.
He further appealed to the governor to urgently tackle the report of the pension board as the workers were already suffering.