The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has called for a sustained partnership with the state workforce in order to develop the Sunshine State across all sectors.
Addressing workers of the state on the occasion of the 2018 Workers’ Day, 2018, held at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Arcade Ground in Akure, Governor Akeredolu said the understanding of the workers was needed to develop the state.
“I join others, most enthusiastically, to celebrate Nigerian workers, especially those in the public service in Ondo State.
“I seize this auspicious moment to thank them for the continued understanding liberally extended to this administration at the most difficult moment.
“They deserve a special mention for their resilience and renewed dedication for optimum service to the people,” he said.
Arakunrin Akeredolu said despite the huge debt portfolio inherited by his administration, salaries have been paid till date.
“A heavy burden of salary arrears of seven months was on the state, we promised to offset all arrears owed. We have been able to keep the promise.
“Four months out of the seven months salary arrears owed has been paid so far. We have paid salaries till date”, he said.
Also the governor mentioned some of its administration’s commitments aimed at alleviating the plights of workers and pensioners in the state which include monthly release of N200m to the Pensions and Transitional Department to offset backlog of gratuities of retired public servants who had served the state meritoriously.
“Pensions are also being paid with salaries of workers. These efforts are in fulfillment of our avowed commitment to prioritise the welfare of workers and that of our senior citizens.
“This administration has kept its promise not to encourage partisan politics truncate the careers of deserving public servants.
“We made a solemn pledge to workers and God, that the issue of promotion would be determined on merit. We present our score card today to you and posterity on our performance”, he said.
Governor Akeredolu who pointed out that his administration has appointed 15 Permanent Secretaries and 1 Tutor-General based on merit, said his government would appoint other deserving career civil servants and assured that nobody would suffer persecution under its watch.
“We will continue to encourage our workers to give their best. We will not relent in ensuring that all interests are protected in the quest for optimum service delivery.
“This administration has approved the sum of N500m as car loan for civil servants in the state.
“There is also the Housing Loan which is being disbursed on a continual basis. We shall keep to our promise to train and retrain public servants for enhanced performance”, he added.
The Chairperson of the Nigeria Labour Congress,NLC, Ondo Chapter, Comrade Bosede Daramola had earlier enjoined the governor, to urgently sanitize the state’s educational system and pay adequate attention to the state’s technical schools for total overhauling and repositioning.
Comrade Daramola further decried the increase of herdsmen activities in some parts of the nation, and called on government and all levels and concerned authorities to rise up to the challenge to guarantee cordial cohabitation and a peaceful environment.
On his part, the State Chairman of Trade Union Congress, TUC, Mr Ekundayo Soladoye, said the labour movement did not diminish the strength of any nation but enlarged it. Adding that through the May Day celebration, workers’ rights and opportunities are showcased
In the address of the President of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria,TUC, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, presented by Comrade Clement Fatuase, urged that the tripartite committee on the National Minimum Wage complete its assignment by August 2018 as planned to enable the Nigerian workers have a new lease of life.
In his speech, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress ,NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba lauded the Federal Government over the review of the National Minimum Wage which he believed would meet the current economic realities.
The address presented on his behalf by Comrade Musa Bakare, the NLC President said the proposed minimum wage would pull many workers out of poverty and also put the country in positive light globally as its adoption would be in conformity with the International Labour Organization standards.
The traditional march past of all affiliated unions of NLC and TUC took place while the State Governor saluted the unions one after the other.
Several top government functionaries and friends of the labour movement attended the programme.