The Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday said the wage bill of workers in the state increased by N1bn shortly after the governorship election of March 9.
The governor, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, spoke during an interactive session with workers in the employ of the state government at the state secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, adding that the development shot up the wage bill to about N5.2bn.
He said, “Between March 10, when we were declared the winner of the election, and May 29, when we eventually got into office, the wage bill of Oyo State increased by N1bn but we have been paying it.”
The governor declared that the government would embark on verification of workers in the state to remove suspicion from the wage bill.
He urged the civil servants to be open to challenges and to move in the same direction with his government.
He said, “Although we have made little progress, we are not satisfied. If we all can work together, we can really make giant strides. The political office holders cannot do it alone. If we have your support, we can together achieve the desired result.”
Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, thanked the workers for their cooperation with the administration so far, adding that they should do more.
According to the statement, Makinde increased the car loan for civil servants from N500,000 to N750,000, while the housing loan was increased from N2m to N3m.
The Head of Service, Mrs. Amidat Agboola, said the governor had approved a monthly grant of N20m for a car loan for the state workers; N15m as car loan for the Teaching Service Commission workers; and N20m for a housing loan.
“This is the time for us to be rededicated to our duties. Truancy, lateness to work, hobnobbing and other improper conducts would not be condoned,” Agboola said.
The Oyo State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Bayo Titilola-Sodo, commended Makinde for showing commitment to workers’ welfare.