By Olasunkanmi Akoni
GOVERNOR Bababjide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, yesterday, announced salary increase for civil servants in the state.
The governor, who did not disclose the amount of the increment, said the pay rise will be unprecedented on the country, “as Lagos is a pacesetter and first in setting standards.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu said this while addressing civil servants, who converged on the Head of Service’s office, during a working visit to the Secretariat, Alausa in Ikeja.
The announcement, however, elicited spontaneous jubilation from workers, as the news went round the Government Secretariat.
The Governor also announced a 25 per cent salary increment for employees in the core establishment agencies.
On the salary review, the governor said: “We know there is inflation and high cost of living in the country but we are determined to cushion the effects on our workers and residents.
“Last month (September), I have instructed the Head of Service, the Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions to work out modalities for salary increase for the entire over 100, 000 of public service workforce.
“We are capable of doing this, Lagos leads while others follow in Nigeria. I salary increment we are leading again.
“We are going to reflect the popular Buga slogan in the payment of salaries. We are not going to wait for the Federal Government’s Minimum Wage increase.
“We have commenced the process, I can assure that by early next year it will be ready for implementation.
“We don’t want to wait for workers’ unions to hold us to ransom before we do the needful.”
On the backlog of pensions, Sanwo-Olu said: “I want to reassure you that all the few outstanding backlogs of pensions will be sorted out this week and payment by the end of October.
“We are the highest and best paying pensions in Nigeria. We are clearing the entire backlog of pensions; it’s a liability we met on ground.
“I have looked around, I know there is pressure and inflation in the country. There is high cost of living everywhere.”
Government before we take this decision. This is Lagos. We are going to review the salaries and ensure we take care of our public servants.
“When we do the pay rise, not only will we expect more from you, our citizens must also see the benefits of this important decision in the service delivery.
“We are a Government that is proactive, we don’t want the staff unions to hold us to ransom. We are responding to the yearnings of our people; I know you have not asked for it, but I am happy to tell you that a pay increase is on the way.”
Reacting on behalf of the civil servants, the Head of Service hailed the Governor for prioritising the workers’ welfare and benefits.
The Head of Service said Sanwo-Olu had fulfilled more than 80 per cent of his promises to the State’s workers, stressing that the welfare package of the State Government was second to none.