Dapo Abiodun
Dapo Abiodun

IDOWU OLAKUNLE

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, at the weekend pleaded with the entire workforce in the state to be patient and to show more understanding with his administration.

Abiodun made the plea while speaking at this year’s International Workers’ Day Celebrations, which took place at the MKO Stadium, Abeokuta on Saturday.

The governor’s appeal followed complaints by leaders of the State Labour Congress over the government’s alleged non remittance of deductions and neglect of other statutory entitlements, accruing to workers.

It would be recalled that the Chairman, Ogun NLC, Mr Emmanuel Bankole had during his speech at the celebrations accused the government of not attending to many items in the MOU signed by Labour and Government.

“We know you fought for us and showed resilience during the odd times and voted for us.You should be patient and show understanding with us” Gov Abiodun said.

The governor who emphasized that he does not believe in making empty promises, assured that his administration would make quarterly payments until it offsets all monies deducted from workers’ salaries,”

“We are committed to clear outstanding deductions from workers salaries on a quarterly basis,” he said.

The governor equally restated his commitment to ensure that a minimum of N500 million is set aside to clear backlog of gratuities amongst the various cadres of pensioners under the state government and local government services.

Abiodun assured workers in the state that his government would continue to provide conducive atmosphere to enhance their productivity, by renovating their various offices.

While noting that Workers’ Day had since grown to become a day exclusively reserved to celebrate and honour all workers across the globe, he saluted workers in the state, particularly the front line workers for the selfless discharge of their duties during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

According to the governor, “the workers’ continued commitment and dedication to duty remains the most significant motivations to our administration’s continued discharge of an all-inclusive and good governance to the people, particularly in almost two years of our administration in Ogun State”.

Abiodun added that his government would continue to improve on the good working relationship created between the workers and the government, by continuing to pay utmost attention to the growth and development of the public servants.

“We remain one of the first few states to commence the implementation of the new minimum wage. As we speak, the 2018, 2019 and 2020 promotion exercises are on-going as efforts are being intensified to ensure prompt approval for the release of promotion letters and commencement of the new payments for the deserving officers immediately after the conclusion of the exercises,” he said.

“In addition, our administration recently reviewed the Local and International Duty Tour Allowances (DTAs) upward. All these we do to demonstrate our commitment towards improving our workers welfare, and ensure productivity of the Ogun State Public Service. While we ensure the welfare of our serving public servants, we are also committed to the well-being of our retired public servants who have meritoriously served our dear state.

“We have commenced the distribution of the first instalment of quarterly provision of a minimum of N500 million amongst the various cadres of pensioners under the State Government, Local Government as well as commencement of the augmentation of the shortfall on the (write in full) BRT payments. Let me use this occasion to reiterate our commitment to the continuous payment of these gratuities and assure substantial increase of the payment of the quarterly provision as the economy gets better.”

The governor disclosed further that the newly launched Ogun State Digital Economy Infrastructure Project (OGDEIP) was one of the practical steps initiated by his administration towards integrating technology into our practices and government businesses.

These, according to him, include deployment of electronic document management systems, e-procurement tools and digitized revenue collection platforms especially to improve efficiency and reduce leakages in all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Ogun State public service.

While pleading that workers should collaborate and less agitate, the governor called on the striking workers to put the Nation’s interest first, urging them to explore all conflict resolution mechanisms and think always outside strike.

“On this note, let me again, request that all striking unions: Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeri (PASAN) and the Resident Doctors who have been on war-path lately sheathe their swords. It is the economy and the people that suffer at the ends of the day,” he said.

Abiodun also called on the workers to be more proactive, be more professional and be more dedicated in the discharge of their duties, submitting that, “by doing this, particularly by joining hands with our administration, we will not only improve on the ‘proud legacy of excellence’ that our forebears bequeathed to us, but also created the Ogun State Public Service that will continue to be the trail-blazer in the comity of Public Services in Nigeria.”