Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state on Tuesday said he has delivered and fulfilled his promise not to owe workers’ salaries, with the assurance that a month’s salary from the inherited seven months’ salary arrears will also be paid soon.
Akeredolu who disclosed this during the annual prayer meeting with public servants on the first working day of the year in Akure, the state capital, said the December salary of workers was delayed on the advice of the Labour leaders in the state to allow workers to meet new year financial obligations.
The governor said his administration has already paid till November 2022, and assured that the December salary will be paid soon, saying all salary arrears would be paid before the end of his tenure.
Akeredolu said “As you are aware, you received three alerts in December. We paid for October and November 2022. You also received a leave bonus.
“We would have paid December but the Labour leaders advised that we delay it till January to allow you to meet financial obligations. Students will resume soon. We will pay the school fees.
“Also, we inherited seven months’ salary arrears, we paid six. Before I leave office, I will pay the remaining one.”
He assured that his administration would continue to give priority consideration to the well-being of the public service amidst competing demands from other segments of the state.
Akeredolu noted that in spite of the state’s lean resources, his administration will continue to do more for the people of the state and not will not shy away from its responsibility.
He expressed satisfaction over good testimonies on payment of salaries, prompt promotion, regular elevation, payment of inherited salary arrears and leave bonus.
He described heartwarming, testimonies from workers on the new duty tour allowance, training and retraining, provision of working tools and enabling environment for the service to thrive, among others, and disclosed his administration’s resolve to improve the quality of lives of the people and deliver on promises.
Akeredolu thanked all public servants in the state for their cooperation, particularly the organised Labour for their understanding.
He explained that without the commitment of the workforce, his administration would not have recorded the modest feats achieved in its policy thrust.
Concerning the 2023 general elections, the governor called on civil servants and the people at large to play by the rules while exercising their franchise at the poll.
“Let me reiterate for the umpteenth time that public servants are not expected to be involved in partisan politics. Absolute loyalty and commitment should be the watchword of the service.
“Again, political discourse should be civil with decorum and in a statutory manner. You will note that our Administration has insulated the bureaucracy from partisan politics.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele disclosed that 8,415 public servants across the state were promoted with financial benefits in 2022.
While thanking the Governor for his continued support in all areas pertaining to issues affecting public servants in the state, the Head of Service described the governor as worker-friendly.
“Thanks to Arakunrin’s commitment to workers’ welfare in ensuring the payment of all outstanding salaries. The present administration, in a bid to reduce the shortfall in the workforce, has continued to recruit fresh hands in critical areas of need.
“For instance, 52 temporary staff of the Ondo State Emergency Medical Services Agency (ODEMSA) were recently given permanent appointments. Moreover, Ondo state workers and retirees have had a new lease on life under this Administration.
“For instance, a number of staff of the Owena Press Limited who retired long years ago received their gratuities last month. The Orange Health Insurance Scheme (ORANGHIS) was inaugurated to give public servants and their immediate family members access to qualitative health care in their preferred health facility of choice at low or no cost,” Ogundele said.
In his remarks, the chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Comrade Oluwole Sunday-Adeleye, commended Akeredolu for prioritising workers’ welfare.
According to Adeleye, Governor Akeredolu has paid 76 months’ salaries within the 70 months and one week of his administration.
“Let me say this clearly with every pride in me, on behalf of workers of Ondo State, that Arakunrin Akeredolu has spent 70 months and one week as the Governor of Ondo State, and he has paid 76 months’ salaries,” He said.
In his exhortation, the Archbishop of the Church of Nigeria, Ondo Province and Bishop of Akure Anglican Diocese, Bishop Oluwole Borokini, congratulated the people for making it to the new year.
He admonished the workers to be loyal, committed to duties and shun corrupt practices in all their activities.
The prayer meeting was attended by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun; Acting Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olusegun Odusola; members of the State Executive Council; Bishop of Owo Anglican Diocese, Dr Stephen Fagbemi.
Also in attendance, the Founder of Agape Christian Ministries, Bishop Felix Adejumo; the state CAN chairman, Bishop Anselm Ologunwa; PFN chairman in the state, Bishop Joshua Opayinka; State Pastor, Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Jacob Osubiojo; APC state chairman, Ade Adetimehin; heads of security agencies in the state; top government functionaries and public servants, among several dignitaries.
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