By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State yesterday lifted embargo on employment into the state civil service.
Speaking during the swearing-in ceremony of members of the state Civil Service Commission and Local Government Service Commission, the governor also assured that civil servants in the state who merited it could now rise to level 17 in the service like their counter parts under the Federal Government.
HeÂ regretted that before now, civil servants in Edo State never rose above level 16.
He said though lifting the embargo on employment would increase the stateâ€™s wage bill, OshiomholeÂ declared that his administration was determined to meet the surplus to improve internally generated revenue drive of the state.
According to him, â€œthis administration refused to sustain the embargo placed on employment by past administrations because of the fear of increase in wage bill.
â€œI quite understood and appreciated their logic and decision to retrench and freeze employment. The idea was to cut down the cost of salary of personnel which means the workers were now seen as a burden. But I see the worker as the most available resource to government and to the society.
â€œI prefer we employ into those critical areas that the service requires, but we must look for money to pay the salaries resulting from that decision. We can only breakout of poverty showing courage, not by lamenting because lamentation will not be my lot.
â€œWe will fight until we are victorious. We will get the money from the pockets of the rich to provide jobs for those who need them.â€
Oshiomohle added that the state government decided to remove the barrier in the state civil service because it was wrong, as the state derived its powers from the constitution.
He said:Â â€œI think it is wrong and since Edo state draws its powers from the constitution, we decided to set aside the obnoxious policy and to fulfill the promise I made to the civil servants on May 1st.â€
He urged the state civil service to embark on training of its personnel to increase their productivity and stressed the need for them to appreciate governmentâ€™s gesture by being more productive and dedicated.