The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde says his government will soon begin a verification exercise to get the actual and accurate number of workers on the government payroll, due to what he described as ‘sudden rise’ in the State Wage Bill.
The Governor made the disclosure in a remark during an interactive session with the State civil/public servants, held at the Car Park of the Governor’s Office, Agodi Secretariat, Ibadan, as part of events marking the first 100 days of his administration in the State.
Although, he did not give the full details of when the exercise would commence, Makinde said the effort is solely for the purpose of knowing the number of the State workforce.
He said, “We would soon conduct a verification exercise to get the accurate number of the State workforce. The verification is not to witch-hunt any worker and so we will only solicit for your support and cooperation for the success of the exercise.”
Justifying the need for the workers’ verification exercise, Makinde said, “We observed that between March 11, when I was declared the winner of the State governorship election and May 29 and when I was sworn-in as the Governor, the Wage Bill of the State workers increased with N1billion.”
He, however, assured the workers that the verification exercise is not aimed at witch-hunting anyone of them, saying despite the increased Wage Bill, his administration had continued to make the welfare and payment of workers’ salaries of utmost importance.
The Governor disclosed, “Our monthly federal allocation is a little above N5 billion but we pay over N8 billion as wages every month. The good news is that monthly federal allocation into local government councils is above N5 billion and their monthly Wage Bill is a little bit above N3 billion.
So we can easily save N2 billion into local government councils’ account and presently we have been able to save N8 billion.”
Makinde said that his administration would be committed to governance that is free of politics and religion, stating that no worker would be discriminated against on the basis of religion or politics, under his watch.
He noted that, “I want to assure you all that no worker would be unjustly punished or sacked because the era of impunity has gone. This administration will follow due process and Civil Service rules in any issue that pertains to the workers.”
He charged the workers to be committed to their duties and urged any Civil Servant who has anything to discuss with him to reach him on phone.
The State’s Head of Service, Mrs Amidat Agboola appreciated the Governor, on behalf of the entire State workers, for what she described as “consistency” in the prompt payment of workers’ salaries and pensioners’ allowances.
She seized the opportunity of the event to inform the workers that the Governor had given approval for the upward review of car and housing loan schemes from N500,000 to N750,000 and from N2 million to N3 million respectively, while urging the workers to be dedicated, loyal and dutiful to service.