Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, revealed that the wage bill of workers in the state increased by N1 billion, shortly after the governorship election of March 9, 2019.
The Governor, who made the disclosure during an interactive session with workers in the employ of the state government, held at the state secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, said that the development shot up the wage bill to about N5.2 billion from March 10.
A statement from the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, also confirmed the increment of car and housing loans to workers as approved by the Governor.
According to the statement, Governor Makinde increased the car loan to civil servants from N500,000 to N750,000 and the housing loan from N2 million to N3 million in order to assist the civil servants in the state.
The Head of Service, Mrs Amidat Agboola, had in her speech at the session, disclosed that the Governor had approved a monthly grant of N20 million for car loan for the state workers; N15 million as car loan for Teaching Service Commission staffers and N20 million for housing loan to ensure that more civil servants benefit from the schemes.
“Between March 10 when we were declared the winner of the election and May 29 when we eventually got into office, the salary bill of Oyo State increased by N1billion but we paid it and some questions are being asked. We promised oneness and, for us, that is the path we are going to continue to tread on,” Governor Makinde said.
He, however, maintained that despite the N1 billion increase, his government had been paying the wage bill.
The Governor further declared that the government would embark on a verification of workers in the state to ensure that the payroll is not suspicious.
Governor Makinde stated that his administration remained committed to the welfare of workers in the state because as a son of former civil servants, he was fully aware that workers need the support and assistance of the state government to do good things.
He also called for the cooperation and involvement of workers to carry out the verification within the shortest period of time in order to free up some funds that can make the government execute some of the things workers were asking for such as training and retraining.
He said: “The not-so-good news, which will be good in the end is that, we have to carry out a verification exercise. This is not to witch-hunt anybody but to convince ourselves that we don’t have fraud in our payroll system. If we are able to save money through that exercise, we can also utilise growth to take care of the welfare of the workers and use the rest for the generality of the people of Oyo State.
“So, I want to solicit for your cooperation, involvement and support to carry this out within the shortest period of time. This exercise will free us some money that can make us do some of the things you are asking for; by training, both local and foreign. So, I am assuming I will have your support concerning the issue of the payroll.”
He added: “The federal allocation is a little short of N5billion naira but the salary is N5.1 to N5.2billion naira for the state workers in Oyo State. For the local government teachers and others, it is about N3billion naira. On a monthly basis, we have to look for N8billion naira to make payment for the salaries.
“The good news is, one, the Federal Allocation into the local government is around N5b as well and they are paying N3b for the teachers, workers, traditional rulers and it all comes to about N3.2b or thereabout. So, the good news is that the local government, at this point, is able to cover their wage bill.
“Also, the good news since when we came in is, we have not embarked on any serious capital project at the local level because there is still turn-in to sort out that level of governance. With the extra N2b we get on a monthly basis, we must have accumulated N8billion naira sitting in the local government account.
“The internally generated revenue IGR is about N2billion naira. We do take from the IGR to augment salaries. Of course, we have to do things for the generality of the people of Oyo State. We have to carry all the capital projects. We also have to do things that will expand our economy to make our IGR go on,” Governor Makinde said.
He, therefore, urged the civil servants to be open to challenges and to move in the same direction with his government, saying that “though we have made little progress, we are not satisfied. For us, those are marginal but if we all can work together we can really make giant progress. The political office holders cannot do it alone. If we have your support, we can together to achieve the desired result.”
He also warned those seeking to divide the people of the state along religious lines, saying: “Governance for us is beyond politics or religion. Nobody under my watch will be discriminated against because of political leaning or religion. So, those who want to divide us with political or religion sentiment should find another work to do.”
Welcoming the workers to the venue, the Secretary to the State Governments (SSG), Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun, thanked the workers for their cooperation with the administration so far, adding, however, that they should do more.
Earlier in her speech, the Head of Service told an ecstatic crowd of workers that Governor Makinde increased the car loan to civil servants from N500,000 to N750,000 and the housing loan from N2 million to N3 million in order to assist the civil servants in the state.
She charged the workers to be more committed to their duties and shun any activity that could tarnish the image of the service and their families in general.
“This is the time for us to be rededicated to our duties. Truancy, lateness to work, disloyalty to the Government, embezzlement, hobnobbing and other improper conducts would not be condoned and any one found culpable of such acts should be ready to face the wrath of the law,” Agboola said.
Also speaking, the Oyo State chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Bayo Titilola-Sodo, commended Governor Makinde for showing commitment to workers’ welfare since assuming office.
Titilola-Sodo, who made reference to the prompt payment of salaries and pensions on or before 25th of every month, however, called on the Governor to consider the filling of vacancies in ministries and agencies, fulfill his campaign promises on training and retraining and resolve pending matters on transfers and conversion of workers in the state.
Governor Makinde had, while responding to demands from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) chairman, Mr. Bayo Titilola-Sodo and civil servants in the state, said that his government would remain open to workers in the state, noting that a dedicated phone line would be given to workers to interact with him
Inclusive Foundation Mourns Veteran Actress, Rachael Oniga
Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and the entire movie industry over the loss of the veteran actress, Rachael Oniga who died at age 64.
The CEO of the foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, in a condolence visit to the family, on Saturday, July 31st, said the news came as a rude shock to many, but she believes that the late actress has created a great impact with her career, and her legacy should never be forgotten.
In her statement, Chief (Mrs.)Eleto said:
“It is with a heavy heart that I grief with the family of a sister, friend and adviser of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
“Mrs. Oniga, is one of our great ambassadors, and we were actually working on a project that is meant for the later part of this year when the sad news of her demise came.
“Death is inevitable, we pray for the repose of her soul, and may God comfort all the people she left behind. We also hope and pray that all her good legacies, be sustained because, she was indeed a pillar of support to our foundation, and also one of veterans that contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood,” the statement reads.
A native of Delta State, Oniga was one of the ambassadors of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
Alaafin Shuns Ooni-Backed Group Over Alleged Anti-Buhari Posture
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday, at the last minute, allegedly cancelled an appointment he gave to a Yoruba group, Ooni’s Caucus, on the alleged complaint that members of the group are “notorious critics” of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The Ooni’s Caucus, which was inaugurated at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on July 20, 2021, is made of many influential Yoruba persons and is being coordinated by a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Akin Osuntokun.
PUNCH learnt that Osuntokun led about 14 members of the group to Alaafin’s palace for the alleged 11am appointment on Friday, but after waiting for about two and a half hours, the influential monarch sent words to them that he would not be seeing them.
According to a source, who spoke to PUNCH on condition of anonymity, some of the group’s members who went to Alaafin’s palace with Osuntokun were a monarch, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe; a former commissioner in Osun State, Muyiwa Ige; a former Minister of Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja; a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, Oye Oyewumi, Sola Lawal, among others.
A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also said to be a member of Ooni’s Caucus, but he was not on the delegation to Alaafin’s palace on Friday.
The source, who is a member of the group, claimed that the group had through the Olugbon secured an appointment with Alaafin since Monday, and the same appointment was confirmed on Thursday, only for them to get to the palace and the Alaafin refused to see them on the claim that they were anti-Buhari and were also loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The source explained that the main purpose of the meeting was for the newly-inaugurated group to get Alaafin’s blessings and to possibly discuss the issue of the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, who is currently being held and tried in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The source said, “The Olugbon, a member of the caucus, was the one who booked the appointment, but he said the Alaafin said he didn’t want to see us because we’re notorious critics of the Buhari government.
“He (Alaafin) confirmed the appointment yesterday (Thursday). But when we got there today, he kept us waiting; after a while, he asked to see the Olugbon. He (Alaafin) didn’t come to see us; we were told he said he wouldn’t see us because we are notorious critics of Buhari’s government and that some of us are close to Obasanjo, who is also critical of the government.
“We were made to wait for about two and a half hours; he gave us an appointment for 11am; we got there at 11am and at about 1.30pm, that was when it was obvious to us that he wasn’t coming (to see us). But he initially asked to see the Olugbon, who went to see him for about an hour. When the Olugbon eventually came back, he said Alaafin would not see us, saying we are a group that is critical of the Buhari government and some of us are loyalists of Obasanjo.”
On whether the group’s mission to Alaafin’s palace was to discuss Sunday Igboho’s matter, the source said, “Of course, the issue (of Igboho) would come up but that was not the purpose of the visit. The issue of Igboho concerns all the Yoruba people but that was not our reason for going to him.”
On whether the group would try and book another appointment, the source said, “I don’t know; we were all surprised that a Yoruba oba can refuse to see his children on account of not wanting to be on the bad side of Buhari’s government. I would have thought that an oba is supposed to take everybody as his children, whether they are supporters of Buhari the All progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or whatever party.”
But when contacted by PUNCH, the Media Director to the Alaafin, Bode Durojaye, said the reason his principal did not see the group was because they did not have any prior appointment with him.
Durojaye said the Alaafin would be willing to entertain the group if they booked an appointment.
He said, “Those who came are men of honour and kabiyesi did not say he did not want to see them. He did not say he would not see them because they are critical of President Buhari or they are former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s men. Obasanjo himself is a friend of Kabiyesi, so you can see that what you were told was not what happened.
“Kabiyesi said he could not see them because they did not give him prior notice that they were coming. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to see them again. They can notify him and he will give them an appointment. You cannot just come and say you want to see him, there are protocols to follow and due process is always adhered to at Alaafin’s Palace.
“There was no rancour, no ill-feeling even when they were going; I was there and I saw them off to their vehicles. If anybody told you that kabiyesi said he didn’t want to see them because they are critical of government or they are Obasanjo’s men, that is a lie.”
NMA Reacts As Bandits Break Into, Pick Nurse At Zamfara General Hospital
Suspected bandits invaded General Hospital, Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, resulting in the abduction of a nurse and caregiver.
Residents said that immediately the men stormed the medical facility, the armed men headed to the outpatient ward in search of a doctor or nurse.
“When they couldn’t find anybody there, they started going from one ward to another. A nurse and a caregiver were abducted. They then moved to staff quarters looking for doctors and nurses but could not find any.”
“The armed criminals had earlier attempted to attack Maigoge, a community located six kilometres north of Dansadau town.
“But when they laid siege to the community, the vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai firmly defended the village. The vigilante killed some of the bandits and injured several others.
“They then invaded the hospital to kidnap nurse and doctors that will treat their injured brothers in the forest.”
Maigoge is one of the few communities in Dansadau Emirate known to be firmly defending themselves against bandits.
“The staff of the facility are not carrying out night duties now. They only attend to patients at day time. They then move inside the town to spend night usually at undisclosed locations,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara state, Dr Mannir Bature, who confirmed the attack said the association is worried by the unfortunate incident.
He said they would hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday.
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