Chief Joshua Popoola, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) governorship candidate, says there can’t be development across the state without autonomy for the Local Government administration.
He made this known on Tuesday during a forum tagged “Oyo State Guber Race 2023 – Next Governor? ‘One on One with Oyo Workers” in Ibadan.
The forum was organised by the state chapters of Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and Trade Union Congress(TUC).
“Our party believes in grassroots development, if elected, the Local Governments will be autonomous. I am not doing them a favor, it is constitutional and I am just obeying what the constitution says.
“If the Local Governments are autonomous, they would be able to carry out their projects, to the advantage of their people at the local level.
“The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) will have a more conducive environment to work,” he said.
He promised to make the welfare of workers his topmost priority, pledging to ensure prompt payment of salary, pension and gratuities.
“Our government will also review the minimum wage, as today Oyo State Government is yet to fulfill its promise on payment of Minimum Wage.
“As I said, I was also once a worker, and I received salaries from the government. So, I understand the situation, trust me, I will take care of such issues if elected,” he said.
He said that the state lacked credit system to allow workers to own houses, cars and other things.
Popoola said that the use of consultants on some revenue generating institutions was one of the major problems confronting state workers.
“Let me tell you, the only way out of this mess for workers in Oyo State is to change the government,” he said.
The NNPP governorship candidate said the leadership of the NLC should be more sensitive to the plight of their members.
He said that labour unions were not what they used to be in the past, noting that workers would continue to be grateful to the leadership of former Gov. Adams Oshiomhole.
Popoola said that Oshiomhole, in the course of discharging his duty as NLC leader, was able to fight former President Olusegun Obasanjo to a standstill.
He also promised to explore independent power project to boost electricity in the state and implement free education from primary to secondary school level.
The State NLC Chairman,Mr Kayode Martins stressed the need for cordial relationship between the executive arm and the labour unions.
He said that the state government was yet to implement the hazard allowance enjoyed by federal workers in the state.
Martins said that the union was demanding autonomy for Local Government and the judiciary, while the state broadcasting organisations needed upgrade to modern status.
“Whoever does our wishes will get our support. Pacesetter state has not implemented 40 years in service as approved,” he said.