Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has restated his commitment to the welfare of the workers in the State, denying the rumour that he has a plan to disengage civil servants if re-elected.
The governor spoke at the banquet hall in Ilorin, the state capital, during an interactive session commemorating the 2022 Civil Service Week.
“For us, sacking workers is not an option. Our belief is that the civil servants are the major lubricants of this economy. Whatever you pay them helps to keep the fabric of the society together. Worse still, you really don’t save anything by sacking workers. Instead, it creates more problems. It is not an option for us,” he said.
He reiterated that civil servants are the life wire of public service, recalling how his administration had restored running costs to the civil service after many years, effected promotion with cash-backing, purchased dozens of operational vehicles, and implemented and sustained the payment of the minimum wage in a manner that labour and civil service leaders say is a reference point in Nigeria.
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The programme was organised by the office of the State Head of Service headed by Mrs Susan Modupe Oluwole, and attended by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi; cabinet members; Kwara NLC chief Comrade Issa Ore; TUC chairman Comrade Tunde Joseph; Chairman Joint Negotiating Council Comrade Saliu Suleiman; among others.
“Since our assumption of office, we have prioritised payment of salaries, pension and gratuity because we know how important they are. When that is not done, it creates a lot of distractions. But we want you to remain focused on what you do. For us, we can say it is most paramount for us to pay your wages and prioritise your training and welfare,” he said.
He commended the workers for their continued support for the government.
Mrs Oluwole said the interactive session formed a part of her office’s mandate to set aside a period for workers to rub minds on issues affecting their interests.
She commended the government for its emphasis on workers’ welfare, including the regular payment of their wages, promotion, as well as the pensions and gratuities for the retirees.
Falade John Olumuyiwa, a director at the State Fire Service, appreciated the Governor for his timely renovation and equipping of the State Fire Service.
Comrade Sanni Oloyin said the civil servants are happier seeing the Governor interfacing with them and requested that the interaction be done quarterly.