The governor said in a broadcast on Thursday that the workers must understand that strike was not an option and that the monthly wage bill was over N2bn but the state received as low as N751m in April.
Workers in Ekiti State on Thursday began an indefinite strike over government’s inability to pay five months salary arrears and for failing to refund deductions made from their December 2015 salaries.
The strike brought the state capital to a halt as government offices and public schools remained shut.
But the state governor said for as long there was no money to pay salaries, he would have to wait for the workers to return.
Other demands of the workers include the release of the staff audit and verification conducted in April 2015; disclosure of the monthly internally generated revenue; payment of arrears of salaries, pension and gratuities; payment of September 2014 salary to primary school teachers; and payment of 2014 and 2015 leave bonuses.
The workers are also asking the government to implement the promotion for 2013, 2014, 2015; approval of inter-cadre transfer; remission of 10 percent IGR to local government and stoppage of Joint Allocation Committee account; resuscitation of LG staff pension fund and release of running grants to secondary schools and local governments.
The governor, while responding to the strike, said the state only got N751 Million allocation from the federation account.
He said, “Right now, I’m helpless. It is difficult to sell myself, my family or my property. I can only depend on what I get from Abuja. I want workers to understand that it is my priority to make them comfortable.
“Even before going on their strike, I got to know that many of them no longer come to office while many others were coming late to office. Why I refused to come hard on those involved was that I had no moral justification to do so since I knew we were owing them.
“I don’t have powers to go on strike, we shall be waiting till when they come back, but they must realise that strike is not the best option”
“Even in Government House, we don’t have money to power generators with diesel, whereas, I cannot sell myself or members of my family to raise funds, things are that difficult,” Fayose said.