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Makinde beats chest in service delivery, extends wage award by another 6 months

The governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde has reiterated that his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) -led administration in the state has been delivering on its mandate in making life better for the people of the state.

 

He made the remark during the inauguration of the 12.5 kilometres dualized Challenge-Odo Ona Elewe-Elebu-Apata road, Ibadan, which Makinde renamed Theophilus Akinyele road.

Makinde disclosed that PDP will in the next few weeks propose action plans which if adopted by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government, will turn around the fortunes of the nation for the better.

This is just as his Enugu State counterpart, Dr Peter Mbah said the PDP is concerned about the collective interest of Nigerians and not narrow interests.

The reactions are coming days after governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) likened the situation in the country to that of Venezuela.

Declaring that the present tough times will soon be over, Makinde stressed that the task to get Nigeria working work was collective responsibility of all Nigerians and described as lazy, the federal government shifting responsibilities for the present situation by arguing that states and local government had been getting more money from the federal allocation account (FAAC) in recent months.

He absolved Oyo state of any defaulting in terms of workers’ welfare saying his administration promptly paid workers and pensioners their dues, as well as wage award to workers in the wake of President Bola Tinubu announcing the removal of subsidy.

The Oyo governor also announced a six-month extension to the payment of the wage award to workers on its payroll (N25,000 for civil servants; N15,000 for pensioners) which was meant to end in March.

He said the period between March and September will enable the state to conclude ongoing negotiation with the organized labour on a new minimum wage for workers in the state.

Makinde said: “I read claims that FAAC had doubled for states and local government areas. I think this is just a lazy way to situation things. We must be talking about baking bigger cake than talking about FAAC. Why are we all going to Abuja every month to share FAAC? Were they doing that in the first republic? Yes, FAAC has moved up from roughly N6 billion per month to about N8 billion but so also are responsibilities of government.

“I also read the claim that PDP governors are owing salaries and pensions. Here in Oyo State, we continue to meet our obligations to our workers and pensioners. We have been paying salaries and pensions without failing on the 25th of every month, since this administration came into office. And for every year since 2019, we have been paying 13th month salary.

“When this economic crisis started, we gave wage award to the workers. We started since October, and I gave them for six months. I wanted that time to be able to sort out between government and workers what the minimum wage should be. I have not been able to achieve that. So I announce today that that wage award will be extended for another six months to give us time to close out on the minimum wage discussion and negotiation.

“We all know the reality of the time no matter how anyone tries to paint it. And in the weeks and months to come, our dear party will propose action plans that we believe will work for our nation when adopted.

“In doing this, we again demonstrate that we care more about the progress of our people than we do about politics.

“To make Nigeria great is our collective responsibility and we all must work together to get Nigeria working again. I repeat, this would be the focus of myself and all the governors of the PDP in the weeks and months to come. So, I urge our people to remain hopeful. The tough times will soon be over.”

The Enugu governor, Peter Mbah, who was in Oyo State to inaugurate the 12.5kilometres road, also stressed that governors realized that reliance on FAAC for economic growth in their states was no longer sustainable.

He said governors identified the imperative to seek alternative financing models and seek private sector funding to be able to execute projects.

Mbah said: “Our dear party represents thinking about the people, knowing that governance is all about our people not about narrow interests but about the collective interest of the people.

“There have been some statements about FAAC in the media. The truth is that reliance on FAAC as a way of economic growth is no longer sustainable. It is hardly able to intervene in the critical sectors of any state which means that as governor, your thinking must be outside the box.

“We must create alternative financing models to be able to execute projects. The truth is that we can only grow our economy as states by attracting private sector investments. And that is what the road I am to commission represents because one of the key indicators of ease of doing business is the position of infrastructure, making it easy for people to move from one point to the other.”

In his remarks, the state commissioner for Public Works and Transport, Professor Dahud Sangodoyin noted that the government of the late Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala started the road in August 2008 but it was neglected by the administration of the late Governor Abiola Ajimobi only for the Makinde administration to pick up and complete the road project.

The event saw the Works Commissioner state that the Makinde administration had so far fixed 220.62 kilometres of roads comprising 144.37 kilometres during the government’s first term and 76.25 kilometres since May 29, 2023.

Present at the ceremony were stalwarts of the PDP, traditional rulers, members of the executive, legislature, judiciary, representatives of KOPEK Construction Company and others.

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