18th May, 2021
Street sweepers in Ekiti on Monday protested against what they described as the government’s insensitive stance to their welfare.
They accused the Ekiti State Waste Management Agency (EKWMA), saddled with the responsibility of taking care of their remuneration, of poor treatment.
The street sweepers who are on the payroll of the Ekiti State Government protested their N5,000 monthly remuneration saying the monthly stipends being paid by the government, is paltry and can no longer sustain them under the present economic situation.
The protesting workers also demanded the immediate implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage for members to reflect the current economic realities of the country.
They displayed placards with the inscriptions: ‘Stop Paying Lip Service to Our Plights’, ‘N30,000 is the acceptable Minimum Wage By Law’, ‘Governor Kayode Fayemi, Please Come to our Rescue’, ‘N5,000 is not acceptable Again’, ‘Our Wage Can’t Take Us Home, We Want Living Wage’, among others.
While addressing journalists at Fajuyi Park, where the protest kicked off from, Mrs Titilayo Faweya, said they were propelled to undertake the protest to demand what is right and just for members.
Faweya added that they acted based on the promise made by Governor Kayode Fayemi in 2018 while seeking reelection that he would increase their monthly take-home that was slashed by the immediate past government.
“The reason behind this action is that we are not being treated well. We are not fighting Governor Kayode Fayemi or disgracing his government, but we are confronted with the reality and we have to act to prevent us from dying in silence.
“We are collecting a sum of N5,000 monthly when a Congo of garri is N700 and that of rice N1,000. How can many of us cope with these terrible situations?
“Many of us are widows, in fact, we are really suffering. They promised that things will change, but we are not seeing the signal. All we are getting are promises upon promises. It is time for us to get what is commensurate to our efforts in terms of payment”, she said.
Also lending her voice, Mrs Nike Alatise, revealed that they started the street sweeping job in 2003 with N2,500 monthly salary before it was increased to N5,000.
“Many of us have spent close to 20 years on this job. When Governor Fayemi was campaigning, he promised that he would look into our welfare. Some of us are widows, some are living in rented apartments. How do we survive with this paltry amount?
“Our job is tedious and things are difficult for us. To survive is not easy and what we want is a sum of N30,000 monthly stipend that is in tandem with the N30,000 minimum wage already signed into law in Ekiti”, she posited.
But the Commissioner for Environment, Barr. Iyabo Fakunle Okiemen, said all the demands of the protesting workers have been taken for onward delivery to Governor Fayemi.
“I have met with them, we have addressed them and got all their demands, so that I can take it to Governor Fayemi for necessary action”, she stated.