Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has pledge to provide workers interest free loans to establish agriculture ventures in any value chain.
The Governor made the promise at a rally organised by the National Union of Local Government Employee, NULGE, in Calabar city, Cross River State.
Ayade urged the workers to explore agriculture as additional source of income.
“Salaries are not enough; we must create something for you to earn more besides salaries. We shall reintroduce a proper imprest to the councils.
“Secondly, the Nigerian President urged all citizens to engage in agriculture and to achieve that in Cross River, I am going to set aside the sum of 500 million naira for any member of NULGE, who wants to go into farming”, Ayade further said.
He noted that the local government service commission has been directed to work with any staff, who was prepared to establish farms or processing agriculture produce at any of the value chain.
“We will give partial interest free soft loans for you to go into farming so as to achieve the vision of our amiable President Muhammadu Buhari,” the Governor stated.
He commended the national executive of the union for spending time with members in Cross River State, pledging to improve the condition of service of the people.
The National President of the Union, Ibrahim Kaliel commended the Governor for reforms in the service, which has impacted positively on the performances of members in Cross River.
Ibrahim noted that besides the prompt and early payment of salaries to workers, the implementation of promotion, regular training of staff and provision of other incentives would go a long way to enhance workers productivity in the service.
“Discrimination in our service is too much that people run away from the local government system. It is not because we do not have the knowledge, but the discrimination in the system will not allow one to grow. But, that is not the case in Cross River State. We will like to see our colleagues in the system grow to be permanent secretaries as well,” he explained.
According to him, “if other governors in Nigeria hold local government workers the way you do, then our struggle for autonomy would be achieved”.
The National President appreciated Cross River legislators for passing the Local Government Autonomy bill into law.
Highlight of the rally was the endorsement of Governor Ben Ayade for a second term and presentation of “Award of Excellent Performance in Governance”.