The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Monday, lamented that the five days of protest by civil servants in the state last week badly affected the internally generated revenue.
It was earlier reported that the workers locked the state secretariat at Agodi in Ibadan, the state capital, throughout last week, to demand palliatives, an upward review of pension allowances, and payment of salary deduction, among others.
Makinde, who addressed the aggrieved workers at the Governor’s Office, Ibadan, promised to hold a quarterly meeting with the labour leaders to close the gap of communication as a move to forestall industrial action in the state.
He said, “The week-long protest at the government secretariat has undoubtedly affected the state revenue negatively.
“This administration will continue to prioritise the good nature of the state workforce and residents in general. We are ready to pay all outstanding deductions arrears and other demanded requests for a worthwhile condition of service.
“I’ve engaged with your leaders and what we discussed was that some of these things were not meant to happen. I apologised to them and they also apologised to me. If there was anything I’ve also done, this is our state, governors will come and go, five years ago I wasn’t the one here and three plus years to come I wouldn’t be here as the governor but our state will remain.
“So, in everything we wish to do, let us remember that this is our state, we have nowhere else we can call our home. You may think that you couldn’t be governor tomorrow but (Adams) Oshiomhole became governor in Edo State after being a labour leader. So, who says labour leaders couldn’t become governors? So, I told them that when I made that broadcast, I made it in annoyance, especially the part that concerned labour, I was angry because I also need encouragement, you’re supposed to encourage me.
“And for this one week, you were protesting, it has been a loss and you can see it in the internal revenue of the state and most of the things you’re demanding for would be sorted by funds. So, please, in any human relationship, there are bound to be misunderstandings,”
He urged the protesting workers to remain positive and progressive.
In his reaction, the state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Kayode Martins, commended the governor for his readiness to listen to the unions, and presented apologies to the government for open protest despite explainable good performance in making its demands known.