By Alaba-Olusola Oke, Akure.
Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has assured civil servants in the state that his administration will not shy away from carrying out its responsibilities by making workers happy.
Akeredolu made the assurance during 2023 Public Servants’ Prayer on Tuesday in Akure.
The governor, who said that no administration would excel without its workers’ cooperation, explained that he would always prioritize workers’ welfare.
He said that his vision for the state was for a better tomorrow, irrespective of the religious and political affiliations of the citizens.
He underscored the need for workers and the government to work in harmony.
Akeredolu said that the government had almost paid all outstanding salary arrears, adding that the government would have paid the December salary but was advised to defer the payment so that workers would not spend it on frivolities.
The governor, who urged the workers to be apolitical, enjoined workers in the state to show exemplary dedication to their service.
He stressed that workers must do their jobs, as dictated by the extant rules and regulations.
Akeredolu directed that civil servants in the state should henceforth wear traditional attires to their respective offices on Fridays.
He said that the government would continue to do the needful for the generality of the state.
Earlier, Mr Kayode Ogundele, the state Head of Service (HoS), said that 2022 was an eventful year in the annals of the State Public Service, as the Akeredolu-administration had prioritized workers’ welfare.
He said that there had been regular promotion, with financial benefits, as approved for public servants as and when due.
“In 2022 alone, a total of 8,415 public servants across the state were promoted with financial benefits.
“Every worker here will agree with me that payment of half salary has become a thing of the past,” he said.
Ogundele thanked Akeredolu for his commitment to workers’ welfare, by ensuring the payment of all outstanding salaries.
He also commended the administration for recruiting new workers in critical areas of need.
He also noted that the staff of Owena Press Limited, who retired some years ago, received their gratuities in December.
The HoS said that the Orange Health Insurance Scheme (ORANGHIS) was inaugurated to give public servants and their immediate family members access to qualitative healthcare at low or no cost.
Ogundele said that maternity leave had been increased from three to six months, while husband of such female officer would be entitled to a paternity leave of two weeks whenever his wife gave birth.
He assured the governor that more than ever before, the public service would rededicate itself to the provision of quality service delivery.
Appreciating the governor, Mr Sunday Adeleye, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said that the labour union did not only criticise the government but also commended it.
Adeleye promised the government that the labour union would redouble its efforts in the New Year.
Archbishop Oluwole Borokini of the Anglican Diocese of Akure, while giving the sermon titled “My Presence Shall Go with Thee”, quoted the scriptures from the Book of Exodus, Chapter 33; Verse 14-15.