By Ismail Fasasi
“There is no iota of doubt” has become a cliche by you. Avoid it for the main time. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration in Oyo State placed a high premium on staff welfare through promotion, training and retraining programmes for civil servants in the state, as well as prompt payment of salaries and pensions.
Governor Makinde, within two years in Office, has employed various measures to enhance the welfare of workers and pensioners.
Practically, he has demonstrated this gesture through prompt and regular payment of salaries of its workforce, pensions, and gratuity to pensioners.
You will agree with me that the government, in two years, has kept the promise of prompt payment of salaries and pensions for civil and public servants on the 25th of every month and sometimes, even earlier. The government has also ensured the payment of more backlog of gratuities for retired civil servants in the past two years than the previous administration paid in eight years. Therefore, Governor Makinde deserves accolades for standing by his words of prompt payment of salaries.
Justifying the governor’s action, a passage in the scriptures puts it that “not only does a labourer deserves his wages, the employer is also enjoined to pay before the sweat on the labourer’s brow dries.”
Since Makinde has kept his pledge of making salary payments on or before the 25th of every month, it behoves the workforce to reciprocate the gesture by being productive.
Recently, the Chairman, Local Government Staff Pension Board, Prince Adebayo Adeyemi, disclosed that the Oyo State government has paid the sum of N1.380 billion as a gratuity to retirees in the state. This has shown that this administration is committed to clearing the LG pension arrears and gratuities owed pensioners by the previous administrations.
Also, housing loan for civil servants, which has been increased from N2 million to N3 million, is a welcome development. The staff car loan scheme has similarly been jerked up from N500,000 to N700,000. The Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration in Oyo State has also offset the promotion arrears of workers in the civil service that had remained stagnant for four years.
Equally, as part of his efforts to uplift the civil service, Governor Makinde’s government trained over 600 civil servants on digitization to equip its workforce with digital skills and ensured that they have the necessary competencies to enhance effective service delivery. A productive civil servant can now rise to grade level 17 as their terminal point from service.
Similarly, the re-opening of the overhead bridge at Oyo State Secretariat in Ibadan, for use by all, as against the exclusive use by the past governor, remains a blessing for Civil servants.
The bridge, which is located over the main entrance of the secretariat, is about 200 meters long and is meant to grant access to workers and the people that have transactions to do within the secretariat.
The bridge is one of the six entrances to the Government Secretariat built by late Obafemi Awolowo to ease movement into the seat of power, but the immediate past administration in the state ordered the closure of the bridge to civil servants and members of the public, while the usage was only for few personalities in the State.
The closure was condemned by many, including the civil servants and general public, but on May 29, 2019, Governor Makinde ordered the immediate re-opening of the overhead bridge and renamed it “Freedom Bridge” to signify new dawn in the state.
Governance should always be centered on the comfort of the people and not for the people in power alone because no government can emerge in a democracy without the mandate of the citizens.
I believe that Governor Makinde’s administration in Oyo State, within two years in office, is not only a blessing to workers but the entire citizens of the state.
It’s also on record that in less than two years, GSM reinstated over 900 civil servants unjustly dismissed by the past administration.
Similarly, five directors of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) who were sacked by the immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, have been recalled. The present administration has also approved an upward review of the maternity leave period for pregnant women and nursing mothers in the employment of the state from four months to six months.
In the area of Education, Governor Makinde has commenced the construction of model schools, blocks of classrooms, perimeter fencing and sinking of boreholes and also engaged in teachers’ training.
He has also completed the recruitment of 5000 teachers to reduce teacher/student ratios in our secondary schools.
This wonderful government has, within two years in office, resolved the lingering issue of the Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH), and Oyo State is now the sole owner of the University. This has afforded workers of this institution a long-awaited life line as they’ve now said good by to a regime of strikes that had been the order of the day in the institution.
It is also an indisputable fact that within Makinde’s two years in Office the Oyo State Secretariat is now wearing a new look like all the ministries and departments in the secretariat have been renovated and re-painted.
This new look was also extended to the Office of the Head of Service and the Governor’s Office.
In the same vein, Governor Makinde had commenced the construction of the office complex for the Local Government Service Commission and Local Government Pension Board, to ease the activities of the senior citizens.
Equally, the introduction of e-governance in the running of government in the state has contributed immensely to the ongoing massive development and transformation in the state. Over 1,000 computer systems have been distributed to enhance E-governance in the state.
These gadgets were put in place for the smooth running of businesses and to enable constant feedback across the state.
To be candid, the Civil Servants have received unprecedented welfare packages from the present administration.
In terms of payment of the new minimum wage, the administration of Governor Makinde is the second after Lagos that fulfilled the payment.
It is a well-known fact that Governor Makinde remains the most worker-friendly Governor when compared to past governors of the state.
It is therefore pertinent to admonish all civil servants in the state to be professional and uphold the rules and tenets of the civil service while discharging their official duties. It’s also essential to work hard to avoid being regarded as lazy bones and eschew shady practices that could affect the steady progress in the service.
*Ismail Fasasi is the Chief Media Officer to Governor Seyi Makinde
*Edited by Seyifunmi Odunuga