Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State may have provided a lasting solution to address the plight of state workers in the now comatose Bendel Breweries, which is enmeshed in litigation.
This was as the governor responded to entreaties by members of the NLC and TUC to provide succour to the workers, whose affairs were in limbo due to the stagnated affairs of the breweries.
It would be recalled that workers in the defunct brewery had staged numerous protests and repeatedly cried out concerning non-payment of their salaries as well as their pension arrears due to the current legal battle facing the company.
Governor Obaseki, however, revealed that he would not use the state’s funds to revive the breweries, but he would instead withdraw the state workers from the breweries and absorb them in the state civil service.
He said: Do you want me to take the money of taxpayers in the state and settle the debts of Bendel Breweries, form where people have stolen so much from? I will not do that. I will rather take out all our workers there and absorb them in the civil service, and then they will get their salaries and pensions promptly and regularly.
He emphasised that he would not use money that should be committed to providing better education for the children in the state into offsetting the debts that have accrued in the breweries due to mismanagement of funds.
If investors will not invest in the breweries, I will fold up the company, he declared.
Meanwhile he addressed the issues of salary payment in the Local Governments, acknowledging the challenges faced by the 18 Local Governments councils in the state whereby their workers were not sure of getting their pay at the end of every month, but revealing that he had personally taken up the responsibility of addressing these problems.
Source: Edo State Government