• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Makinde extends monthly wage award to civil servants, pensioners

Makinde boosts healthcare in Oyo with inauguration of solarised oxygen plant

…As Enugu governor commissions, lauds him on 12.5km road

Governor ‘Seyi Makinde on Friday announced a six-month extension of the payment of N25,000 and N15,000 wage award to civil servants and pensioners in the state.

The governor, who made the announcement at the commissioning of the 12.5 kilometres Challenge-Odo Ona Elewe-Apata Road, said the extension became important to allow the Federal Government conclude negotiations with the labour unions on a minimum wage.

Recall that Governor Makinde introduced the wage award in October 2023 to mitigate the economic hardship being faced by civil servants and pensioners in the aftermath of the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.

Read also: Makinde signs executive order into law on storage of harmful devices

The governor had equally introduced the Sustainable Actions for Economic Recovery (SAfER) through which the government has been assisting residents of the state across the transport, health insurance, agriculture and small and medium scale enterprise sectors.

Governor Makinde said his administration had continued to meet expectations of workers and pensioners since it got on board in May 2019 and that it would continue to do so, because it is a government that puts people first.

He said: “When this economic crisis started, we gave wage award to workers. We started in October and said it would be for six months.

“I wanted that time to be able to sort out what the minimum wage should be. We have not been able to achieve that. So, I am announcing that the wage award will be extended by another six months to give us time to close out on the minimum wage discussion and negotiation.”

Speaking further on the economic situation of the country, Makinde charged Nigerians to keep their heads up amid the difficult times being faced by Nigerians and to join hands to make the country great again.

Governor Makinde, who noted that despite criticism against the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, that recently spoke out on the situation in the country, he and his colleagues will remain undeterred and will soon come up with an action plan that will work for the country.

“Let me use this opportunity to talk about the meeting we had a few days ago. We the Governors of the PDP met in Abuja and one of the key issues we discussed was the economic hardship our people are facing.

“Our focus this time is to help our people overcome the challenges of the time. Some people can continue to play politics and tell lies about how things are, it does not matter.

Read also: Diaspora group commends Gov Makinde leadership in wake of Ibadan explosion

“I read a piece where some people said FAAC has doubled for states and local government areas. I think it is just a lazy way to situate things. We must be talking about baking a bigger cake.

“Why are we even going to Abuja in the first instance to share FAAC? Were they doing that in the First Republic? Yes, FAAC has moved up from about N6bn per month to about N8bn monthly but the responsibilities of government have also increased.

“We all know the reality of the time, no matter how anyone tries to paint it. And, in the weeks and months to come, our dear party will propose an action plan that we believe would work for our nation when adopted.

“In doing this, we again demonstrate that we care more about the progress of our people than we do about politics. It is just like here in Oyo State where we fix roads that have economic importance whether they belong to the state or federal,” Makinde said.

He added that in spite of the economic hardship, his government has been able to sustain its focus of building infrastructure that targets its economic expansion agenda and makes life more meaningful for residents of the state.

According to the governor, with the completion of the 12.5 kilometres Challenge-Odo Ona Elewe-Apata Road, which has now been named Theophilus Akinyele Way, the government has reduced travel time for thousands of residents accessing their homes, businesses and workplaces.

He noted that the government’s various road projects are ways of attracting prosperity for residents of the state and bring development to the state as a whole.

He appreciated Governor Mbah for honouring the state with his presence, saying that his administration would deliver more dividends of democracy in line with his Roadmap for Sustainable Development, 2023-2027.

He added: “When we commission projects, we often go back to see the impact such projects have on the lives of our people. For most of them, a road project like this is the difference between being able to quickly go from their homes to the market or spending hours in traffic. This particular road is cutting down travel time by, at least, 30 minutes for some people. So, when we say where roads go, development follows, we are simply stating the fact.

“We are also mindful of the fact that our people want more. We know things have been tough, so we promise to do more. It may not be as fast as you want it to happen but, surely, we will get to our destination by the grace of God.”

In his speech ahead of commissioning the road, the Enugu State governor lauded Makinde for building a lasting legacy in the state, saying: “With the interconnectivity of this project, you can see that the construction and completion did not happen by accident. There was a design and concept meant to provide the people of Oyo State with the ease of doing their business, movement and transportation.

Read also: Bodija blast: Makinde presents report to Tinubu

“What is at the epicentre of this project today is the people of Oyo State, and that is what the administration of my brother has continually underscored.

“So, I want to salute you for your decisiveness and progressiveness, which underscore what our great party, the PDP, represents in governance. Our party knows that government is about the collective interest of the people but not narrow interest.”

Similarly, the Commissioner for Public Works and Transport, Dahud Shangodoyin, a professor said the completion of the new road will enhance seamless movement of vehicles, goods and services.

Noting that the road will serve as a link connecting other states such as Lagos and Ogun States and is also an interconnectivity between Mile 110-Ring Road-Abeokuta Road and Challenge-Podo Road, Shangodoyin said the project was initially awarded to Messrs Kopek Construction Limited in August 2008 by the administration of the late Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala but it was left unattended to for the entire eight years of late Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

He stressed that Governor Makinde re-awarded the abandoned road project in October 2022 to the same contractor, Messrs Kopek, adding that with the completion of the dualised Challenge-Odo Ona Elewe-Elebu Apata Road project, the Makinde administration has successfully commissioned a total of 220.62 kilometres of road network within four years and eight months of Omituntun 1.0 and Omituntun 2.0.

Also in their separate goodwill messages, the Federal Controller of Works, Olusola Olarerin; former Oyo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Kafilat Olayiwola and President-General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief (Barrister) Niyi Ajewole, lauded the governor for prioritising the interest of the people.

Read also: Ibadan explosion: Makinde rules out ban on minning

The event was attended by the Deputy Governor of the state, Bayo Lawal; PDP Deputy National Chairman (South), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja; former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Hamid Gbadamosi; Speaker of the Oyo state House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin; Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Iyabo Yerima; Secretary to the State Government, Olanike Adeyemo;a professor Chief of Staff to the Governor, Segun Ogunwuyi and the Head of Service, Olubunmi Oni.

Others were PDP National Vice-Chairman (South-East), Ali Odefa, former PDP National Youth Leader, Ude Okoye, member representing Ibadan South-West/ North-West Federal Constituency, Stanley Adedeji and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Niyi Akintola, among others.