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COVID-19: Obasanjo Library sends workers on ‘temporary lay-off’

In what was tagged "temporary cessation", the management of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State has asked its workers to go home…

In what was tagged “temporary cessation”, the management of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State has asked its workers to go home until further notice following the effect of the COVID-19 on the business.

OOPL is founded by former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

Apart from some top members of staff, cleaners and security guards were most affected by the “temporary lay-off.”

The sprawling OOPL which has various units including guest house, zoo, cinema, halls, bar, car wash among others, was battling delay in the payment of salaries before coronavirus worsened the situation, findings revealed.

One of the workers at the security unity told Daily Trust, “We were owed up to four months salaries last year before it was cleared.”

The source said a number of the workers are equally owed between two to three months leave bonus.

A letter signed by the Library’s head of human resources, administration and procurement, Olanike Ogunleye conveyed the decision of the management to the workers.

The letter indicated that the affected workers’ would be recalled when business picks up, saying there are not eligible to any payment “during the period of cessation.”

“As you are aware, the current COVID-19 pandemic has had a toll on all our business significantly. This has resulted to making some difficult business decisions.

“Due to this situation, we regret to inform you that your employment will be put on hold till further notice.

“This temporary cessation is effective from 31st May, 2020 and until business picks up and you are recalled back to work, please note that you are not eligible for any payment during this period of cessation,” the statement partly reads.

Our correspondent who visited premises of OOPL located at Oke – Mosan, Abeokuta, on Saturday, observed that it was a business unusual as grave silence pervaded the vicinity.

Contrary to what’s obtainable in the past, only five security guards were seen at the two gates of OOPL alongside two supervisors on ground to secure the environment.

The Managing Director of OOPL, Vitalise Ortese told Daily Trust that the decision was informed by the reality of the period, saying “we didn’t make single kobo since March.”

He described as mischief, report by a section of the online news platforms that the organization “sacks its workers.”

“We did not sack anybody. It was clearly stated there, temporary cessation. We have not made a kobo since March 16 or thereabout. No bailout and we didn’t get palliative from the government. How do we pay salaries? It’s normal we have to allow people go temporarily.

“It happens everywhere. Banks are laying off and other organizations have asked people to go home. Everyone is affected, including me. All members of staff are affected. Obasanjo’s children are affected, even Obasanjo himself is affected,” Ortese said.

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