By Adeola Badru
Amid jubilation and ecstasy, members of staff of the Oyo State Local Government Service Commission and Local Government Staff Pension Board, were on Friday, full of praises and appreciation to Governor Seyi Makinde for flagging off the construction of secretariat complex for the two agencies since the state was created 44 years ago.
The epoch-making occasion, held at the project site, behind Water Corporation Building Complex, Secretariat, Ibadan, witnessed in attendance, the state executive council members, members of staff of the two agencies, and other important personalities.
The event, which was one of the activities lined up for the first year in office of Governor Makinde, afforded members of staff of both the Commission and pension board, to express their gratitude to Water Corporation Building management and staff, where they have been domiciling for about four decades.
The staff equally expressed appreciation to the governor for granting the approval to commence work on the site, which they described as long overdue.
In his extemporaneous speech, Governor Makinde reiterated the commitment of his administration towards bettering the lots of the state’s civil servants by providing a good working and friendly environment for them, which he said, would boost their levels of productivity.
The governor, however, maintained that his administration would continue to provide an enabling environment for the entire workforce in the state while assuring that the construction project, would be ready for commissioning within the next eleven months.
He disclosed that a substantial amount has been raised for completion of the project, while lauding the initiative of the Permanent Secretary of the commission, Mr. Akin Funmilayo, for bringing up the idea of the project
Earlier in his address, the Chairman, Oyo State Local Government Service Commission/Local Government Staff Pension Board, Hon. Aderemi Ayodele noted that the achievements of the governor, cut across all sectors, adding that they have brought positive changes not only to the lives of both civil/public servants in the state, but the masses at large.
He thanked the governor, for restoring the lost glory both agencies, through the resuscitation of training and retraining programmes for unified personnel, aimed at enhancing their performance.
The Chairman said: “About 2,000 workers have so far been trained by the commission to enhance their efficiency in service delivery.”
“Monthly release of a sum of N240 million only for the payment of gratuities of retired Primary School Teachers and local government staff, as well as payment of 100 percent monthly pensions to our senior citizens, as against payment in percentages by the immediate-past administration is also worth mentioning.”
“To this end, a sum of N3.5 billion had been paid so far as gratuities to retirees by this administration in the last seven months, courtesy the magnanimity of our dear Governor.”
“The Commission and Pension Board had been tenants in the Water Corporation Building for about four decades now, without any administration deeming it fit to construct a permanent secretariat for the two agencies,” he recalled.
In separate goodwill messages, the governor was commended for his administration’s achievements in the last one year, which they said were unique.
In his remark, the Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Pensions (NUP), Oyo State chapter, Mr. Segun Abatan, disclosed that the governor had paid N1.98 billion as gratuities to retired workers at the miniseries, department, agencies, and parastatals in the state since he assumed office barely a year ago.
He noted that Gov. Makinde had also paid retired primary school teachers and local government pensioners, a whooping N3.2 billion, making N5.1 million in all, within one year of what he called a purposeful administration.
In a similar remark, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Mr. Titilola-Sodo, said the governor has been able to lift the standard of living of civil servants in the state, through his prompt payment of salaries.
He added that workers, as well as masses in the state, are solidly behind his administration while assuring the governor of unalloyed support, commitment, and cooperation of civil servants to his government.