Sheriff Oborevwori, governor of Delta State, has said that he had approved palliatives for 50,196 workers in the state public service, and that they would each receive payment of N10,000 for the next three months starting from this August.
The staff figure includes employees of the 10 higher institutions in the state, he said.
Announcing this in Asaba after swearing-in 26 commissioners into the state executive council, Oborevwori said the palliatives were rolled out in order to cushion the hardship the people were facing as a result of the fuel subsidy and downward spiral of the naira against the dollar.
I have approved that workers from salary grade Levels 1-14 should run shifts as follows: First Batch: Monday – Wednesday ; Second Batch: Thursday – Friday, stated Oborevwori.
“This schedule will be implemented on a rotational basis. Those who work from Monday-Wednesday in one week will work Thursday to Friday the following week to ensure fairness and equity.
“The schedule for officers from salary grade Levels 15 and above is to be worked out by the various MDAs as it is suitable for them. However, staff on essential services must be on duty while working remotely is also encouraged. The other arms of government – the judiciary and legislature – are to work out their modalities as they deem fit.”
The governor explained that he has set up a committee to plan for the provision of palliatives for people living with disabilities, widows, poor and vulnerable households and the aged in the society.
Oborevwori said: “We are keeping faith with the electorate to make life richer and more fulfilling for them as contained in the MORE Agenda.
“I am pleased to report that this administration has taken decisive steps to improve the welfare of our workers, which is an integral part of the MORE agenda.”
The governor further disclosed that he had given approval for the payment of outstanding promotion of 23,887 workers in the state public service.
The total amount payable is N5, 522,637, 848.05. The payment commences from this month of August and will be made in four tranches as follows: Ministries – August; Judiciary, Parastatals, and Hospitals Management Board – September; Higher Institutions – October; Post Primary Education Board – November.”
The governor said he has consulted with the leadership of ALGON to roll out their own palliatives to its workforce.
He said: “As you are aware, local government workers are not under the administration of the state. However, we have held consultations with the leadership of ALGON and it is our earnest expectation that ALGON will implement the same palliative measures for its workers”.
He reiterated his call on elected officials and political appointees to be their brother’s keeper given the prevailing economic hardship in the country.
“Our people are going through very difficult times. Therefore, those of us that have the privilege of public office must do everything within our power to bring relief to the poor and the less privileged. Please, be available to the people.
“This is very important because our people need to see that we care. There is a saying that people do not care how much you know until they see how much you care,” Oborevwori added.
The Governor further said: “Consistent with my pledge to be Governor for all, I have constituted a committee headed by the SSG and other stakeholders including labour to work out palliatives that will cover the following segments of the population, namely; People Living with Disabilities (PwDs); Widows; Poor and vulnerable households that do not belong to the above categories; and the aged.
“I expect us to roll out palliatives for these categories of people as soon as the committee submits its report. Meanwhile, the committee is also looking at the possibility of the state government acquiring electric vehicles for public transportation.
“The committee has equally been mandated to initiate the process of converting the existing Tricycle (popularly known as keke) assembly plant in Asaba into a dual-purpose factory that will be able to produce gas-powered keke, in addition to those running on petrol. If this is done, it should significantly drive down the cost of transportation”.
He said his administration would soon bring the thorny issue of unpaid local government pensions to a final resolution.
“My administration helped to secure legislative approval for the local government councils to obtain a N40 billion bank loan to enable them to liquidate their backlog of pension liabilities.
“The loan, which is guaranteed by the state government, is payable over a five-year period, and will be deducted from the accounts of the local government councils. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the payment of the pensions should commence soon.
“I have also given the nod for the local government councils to recruit teaching and non-teaching staff to fill up existing vacancies.
“At least 2,000 persons will be gainfully employed through this process. In due course, we shall carry out a comprehensive audit of physical infrastructure in our primary and secondary schools to enable us know where there are gaps and respond accordingly.
“My administration will spare no expense in providing the conducive climate essential for high quality learning experiences in our schools,” he said.