Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde said on Thursday that his administration would soon begin a verification exercise to get the actual number of workers on the government’s payroll.
This followed what he described as “sudden rise” in the state’s wage bill.
Although he didn’t give details of when the exercise would begin, the governor said the effort is solely for the purpose of knowing the number of the workforce.
The governor spoke during an interactive session with the civil servants as part of events marking the first 100 days of his administration.
Justifying the need for the workers’ verification exercise, he said he observed that between the time he was declared the winner of the governorship election and the day he took his oath of office, the state wage bill had increased by a billion naira.
Makinde, however, assured the workers that the verification is not aimed at witch-hunting anyone, saying despite the increased wage bill, his administration has continued to make the payment of workers’ salaries and their welfare a priority.
He said “We will soon conduct a verification exercise to get the accurate number of the state workforce. The verification is not to witch-hunt any worker and so we will only solicit your support and cooperation for the success of the exercise.
“The reason for the exercise is because we observed that between March 11, when I was declared the winner of the governorship election and May 29 when I was sworn in as the governor, the wage bill of the workers increased by N1billion.
“But, despite this, we are paying workers’ salaries without delay because their welfare is paramount to this administration.
“Our monthly federal allocation is a little above N5 billion, but we pay over N8 billion as wages every month.
“The good news is that the monthly federal allocation into local government councils is above N5 billion and their monthly wage bill is a little bit above N3 billion.
“We can easily save N2 billion into local government councils account and presently we have been able to save N8 billion.
“I want to assure you all that no worker will be unjustly punished or sacked because the era of impunity has gone. This administration will follow due process and civil service rules in any issue that pertains to the workers.”
The governor added that his administration will be committed to governance that is free of politics and religion, adding that “no worker will be discriminated against on the basis of religion or politics.”
He urged the workers to be committed to their duties and advised any civil servant who has anything to discuss with him to reach him on the phone.
Head of Service Mrs. Amidat Agboola had hailed the governor on behalf of the workers for what she described as “consistency” in the prompt payment of workers’ salaries and pensioners’ allowances.
She took the opportunity to inform the workers that the governor had given approval for the upward review of car and housing loan scheme from N500, 000 to N750, 000 and from N2 million to N3 million, urging the workers to be dedicated and loyal