Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has said the state government had instituted an efficiency unit to constantly evaluate the state’s civil service system with a view to rewarding performing workers and sanctioning non-performing ones.
Ajimobi, who made these remarks at Wednesday’s inter-religious service to signal the commencement of the year, therefore asserted that non-performing workers on government’s payroll had to leave the system.
He consequently urged public and civil servants, who formed the bulk of attendees at the event, to contribute to good governance by being hardworking, responsible and open minded.
While decrying the current economic challenges as hindering regular payment of salaries, he chided notions that he intentionally failed to pay workers.
Harping on the need for collaboration of all stakeholders in the state, Ajimobi, especially, called on labour centres to be engaging, innovative, proactive and creative in approaching government, and shun casting aspersions on government’s activities.
“Let me reiterate that the civil service is the engine room that drives government’s activities. We should have workers’ performance evaluation quarterly. We must have system that encourages performance and must recognize and compensate performance. We must also have a system that discourages and sanctions non-performance. Anybody who is not contributing should leave the system.”
“If there is sanction for non-performance, workers will perform. But, there must equally be adequate reward for those who perform. We will introduce that system. We have created an efficiency unit to support this new project. The sole objective of this unit is to promote efficiency within the system and ensure value for money in respect of all government activities. Our administration, in spite of the current economic challenges, has made available resources and sustained an appreciable level of welfare for workers in the civil and public service.”
Furthermore, he described as difficult the task of managing a state with largest landmass in the South, poor Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), and insufficient funds to regularly pay salaries, execute capital projects and maintain existing infrastructure.
“Up till January 2016, we got, on the average, the sum of N3.5billion was received monthly as allocation from the federation account. Presently, the average monthly allocation is N2.5billion whereas our monthly wage bill still stood at N5.2billion.”
“We have had to reduce cost and I told the ministry of Finance to suspend car loan, subvention, particularly to tertiary institutions, and there was hue and cry in town. We are looking for ways to reduce cost and every attempt to do so is disservice to one group or the other.”
“The regular payment of salaries, the execution of capital projects, maintenance of existing infrastructure have since become increasingly difficult. Another major challenge is our poor Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). In some state, they generate as much as N30billion monthly, while some get about N5billion monthly.”
“Oyo state is the largest in the South, in terms of landmass. We have 28,545km² in landmass while the combination of the landmass of other 5 states in the South West is about 30,000km², that is almost equal to Oyo state. Ibadan alone is bigger than the combination of seven states. So, Oyo is a very big state with big responsibility. So, it is a difficult state to manage.”
“Today, Oyo state gets an Internally Generated Revenue of about N1.5billion. It could have been over N2billion but our inability to pay salaries regularly affects our generating Pay As You Earn (PAYE). PAYE is about 30 percent of what we earn. In essence, our IGR is still abysmally low. There is therefore the need for Oyo state to evolve survival strategies most especially in the areas of IGR, efficiency, plugging loopholes and restructuring.”
In his remarks, Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade called for collective participation, collaboration and professionalism by all workers in the employ of the state government.
He also noted the need for prudent utilization of the financial resources of the state for the state to realise its ambition of being self-sufficient.
“This is the time for all of us to be determined; this is the time for all of us to be committed and this is the time for all of us to be strong. The present situation requires our collective participation and collaboration. Instead of embarking on unproductive ventures like rumour mongering, idleness and backbiting, let us be more positively charged to face the challenges of the future,” Eniade said.
In their separate homilies, Chief Imam, Government House Mosque, Dr Bello Rufai and Reverend John Adika of the Baptist Church, emphasized the need for workers to be hard working, diligent and be of integrity.
The list of dignitaries at the programme included, wife of the governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi; deputy governor, Mr Moses Adeyemo; Speaker of the state house of Assembly, Honourable Micheal Adeyemo, Secretary to the state government, Mr Olalekan Alli and other members of the state executive council, religious leaders; legislators and local government chairmen.