The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde says workers Wage Bill increased by N1b, shortly after the Governorship Election of March 9, 2019.
Governor Makinde said Wage Bill increased to about N5.2b from March 10.
He was speaking during an interactive session with government workers in Ibadan, the state capital.
“Between March 10 when we were declared the winner of the election and May 29 when we eventually got into office, the salary Bill of Oyo State increased by N1b but we paid it…We promised oneness and for us, that is the path we are going to continue to treading,” the Governor said.
A statement from the Governor’s office confirmed that he has approved an increment in car loan to civil servants from N500,000 to N750,000 and housing loan from N2million to N3million, to assist the civil servants in the State.
The Governor said that ”the government would embark on a verification of workers in the State to ensure that the payroll is not suspicious, and the money saved through the exercise would be utilised to take care of the welfare of workers and the generality of the people of Oyo State.”
He said; “The not-so-good news, which will be good in the end is that, we have to carry out a verification exercise. This is not to witch-hunt anybody but to convince ourselves that we don’t have fraud in our payroll system.”
Governor Makinde stated that his administration remained committed to the welfare of workers in the State because as a son of former civil servants, he was fully aware that workers need the support and assistance of the State government to do good things.
“So, I want to solicit for your cooperation, involvement and support to carry this out within the shortest period of time. This exercise will free us some money that can make us do some of the things you are asking for; like training, both local and foreign. So, I am assuming I will have your support concerning the issue of the payroll,” Governor Makinde appealed.
According to him, the federal allocation for the State is a little short of N5b but the salary for the State workers is N5.1b to N5.2b, while that of the local government teachers and others, is about N3billion and this administration has to look for N8b to make payment for the salaries, every month.
He stated; “The good news is, one, the federal allocation into the local government is around N5b as well and they are paying N3b for the teachers, workers, traditional rulers and it all comes to about N3.2b or thereabouts. So, the good news is that the local government, at this point, is able to cover their Wage Bill.”
Governor Makinde also disclosed that since inception, his administration has not embarked on any serious capital project at the local government level because there is still turn-in to sort out that level of governance, noting that with the extra N2b received on a monthly basis, N8b must have been accumulated into the local government account.
“The internally generated revenue, IGR, is about N2b. We do take from the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR to augment salaries. Of course, we have to do things for the generality of the people of Oyo State. We have to carry all the capital projects. We also have to do things that will expand our economy to make our IGR go on,” Governor Makinde stated.
Warning those seeking to divide the people of the State along religious lines, Governor Makinde affirmed, “Governance for us is beyond politics or religion. Nobody under my watch will be discriminated against because of political leanings or religion. So, those who want to divide us with political or religious sentiment should find another work to do.”
Welcoming the workers to the venue, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, thanked the workers for their cooperation with the administration so far, adding, however, that they should do more.
The Head of Service, Mrs Amidat Agboola explained to an ecstatic audience, that the Governor had approved a monthly grant of N20m for car loan for State workers; N15million as car loan for Teaching Service Commission staffers and N20 million for housing loan to ensure that more civil servants benefit from the schemes.
She urged the workers to be more committed to their duties and shun any activity that could tarnish the image of the service and their families in general.
Agboola said; “This is the time for us to be rededicated to our duties. Truancy, lateness to work, disloyalty to the government, embezzlement, hobnobbing and other improper conducts would not be condoned and any one found culpable of such acts should be ready to face the wrath of the law.”
Also speaking, the Oyo State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Mr Bayo Titilola-Sodo commended the Governor for showing commitment to workers’ welfare since assuming office.
Titilola-Sodo, who made reference to the prompt payment of salaries and pensions on or before 25th of every month, however, called on the Governor to consider the filling of vacancies in ministries and agencies, fulfill his campaign promises on training and retraining as well as resolve pending matters on transfers and conversion of workers in the State.
Responding to demands from the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Chairman and civil servants, Governor Makinde had said that his government would remain open to workers in the State, noting that a dedicated phone line would be given to workers to interact with him 24/7.