By Adeola Badru
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, renewed the determination of his administration to complete several road projects, initiated by him, which include the Lekan Salami Stadium remodelling, bus terminals, bike and bus terminal at Agodi Gate, Ibadan, and the rebuilt Akesan market, Oyo town.
The governor, while speaking during the interfaith programme held at the state secretariat, listed the road projects billed for inauguration, which are the 65km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin road; the 21km Airport- Ajia-New Ife Express road with a spur to Amuloko; the 12km Apete-Awotan-Akufo road; the 3km Under G Stadium-LAUTECH-2nd Gate road; the 5km Gedu-Oroki-Sabo-Asipa road; the 12.5km dualisation of Challenge-Odo Ona Elewe-Apata road and the 10km Saki Township road dualisation.
On his commitment to prioritise the welfare of workers, the governor maintained that deserving civil servants in the state employ, would have the opportunity to get up to grade level 17 under his administration, adding that, those with outstanding promotions from year 2017 to 2020 would be addressed this year.
He disclosed that his administration had so far spent about N9.3 billion to clear the backlog of pensions and gratuities.
His words: “We heard some people wondering last year if we will continue paying salaries promptly given the hardship occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic meltdown.”
“Well, by the grace of God, we are not owing any salaries. We even surprised them more by paying 13th month salaries for the second time running at a time when other states are owing their workers.”
“In fact, we have spent about N9.3 billion to pay pensions and gratuities owed by the previous administration so far and we will continue to pay to clear up the backlog.”
“Also, as you may be aware, there is a backlog of outstanding promotions from 2016. This will be addressed this year. Furthermore, deserving civil servants will have the opportunity to get up to grade level 17 under our watch. Let me reassure you that we will continue to prioritise the welfare of the civil servants in Oyo State.”
Giving her opening remarks, state’s Head of Service, Mrs Ololade Agboola warned civil servants against taking for granted the commitment of the state government to their welfare.
In particular, she warned against disloyalty, lateness to work, docility, truancy, while assuring that outstanding workers will be rewarded.
Agboola added that the state will soon commence a process of updating its outdated civil service rules.
Both the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Kayode Martins and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Mr Emmanuel Ogundiran were united in lauding the Makinde government for commitment to workers’ welfare especially by prompt payment of salaries.
In their separate sermons, Chief Imam, Government House mosque, Alhaji Bello Rufai, and Bishop, Methodist Church Nigeria, Ogbomosho diocese, Reverend Ademola Moradeyo admonished on diligent service to God, while urging Governor Makinde to tread softly in dealing with politicians.