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Bu: Ade Adeleke
Organised Labour Unions in Ondo state have declared that they pressurised Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to extend the tenure of Mr. Dare Aragbaiye as the State Head of Service due to his outstanding performance since he was appointed in July 2019.
There was a petition by the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, the state chapter that the governor should reverse the extension of the HoS tenure, a demand which was vehemently kicked against by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state.
The NLC Chairman, Comrade Sunday Adeleye-Oluwole disclosed this while presenting a workers’ position to the governor at the Government’s House Ground, Akure to commemorate the 2020 May Day which was not celebrated like previously as a result of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
Adeleye-Oluwole noted that both the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and NLC state leadership went to beg Akeredolu to early this year to retain Aragbaiye as the HoS.
He said: “For the first time, I want to state here publicly that the service elongation of the Head of Service, Mr. Dare Aragbaiye was not the making of the governor of Ondo State, but the wish of the workers of the state.
“We appreciate the Government of Ondo State of what it has been doing since inception in 2017. All workers have gotten their 2019 promotion letter. 2020 promotion exercise has also commenced. We are grateful for all you have done for us.”
The Chairman said “approval and implementation year 2019 promotion. Appointment of 31 Permanent Secretaries, General Managers and Tutors General.
“Appointment of Mr. ‘Dare Aragbaiye as the Head of our Bureaucracy. A round peg in a round hole. Approval and payment of the new minimum wage and consequential adjustment with Specialized /Peculiar allowance.
“Approval and payment of 33% Pension increase to Ondo State Pensioners. Re-employment of floating disengaged Nursing officers in UNIMED.
“Approval of year 2020 promotion for eligible and deserving officers. Massive infrastructural turn around across the length and breadth of Ondo State,” Adeleye-Oluwole said.
He noted that “our prayer is that Mr. Governor directs that the office of the Head of Service, in the spirit of the Workers Day facilitate the release of promotion letters to deserving and eligible workers across all the services in the State without further delay.
“LEAVE BONUS/OUTSTANDING SALARIES: Mention must be made Your Excellency, of your sincere commitment to the payment of all outstanding entitlements of civil servants in the State.
“You will recall sir, that on 2 January, 2020 you did promise to commence the payment of year 2018 Leave Bonus with officers on GL. 01-06. That has since been paid leaving officers on GL. 07 and above waiting for their 2018 Leave payment.
“We pray Your Excellency, to put behind us outstanding 2018, 2019 Leave Bonus, 2016 December, January 2017 Salary for Local Government/ Primary School Teachers and January 2017 salary for workers in the core Civil Service.
AKEREDOLU APPROVES CAR LOANS FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS
While responding, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu expressed appreciation to the organized labour for coming out with the truth on the extension of the Head of Service tenure.
He described Aragbaiye as a competent, trusted, reliable and straightforward top bureaucrat who had helped his administration to stabilise the public service and entrench cordial relationship between the state government and its workforce.
Akeredolu, also approved car loans for primary school teachers across the state.
The governor, who thanked the workers in the state for their understanding and support, assured that his administration will pay the outstanding one month arrears, being the last of the inherited seven months arrears from the previous administration.
He stressed that the arrears will be paid before the end of his first tenure in office, even if necessary to take loan to settle the arrear, adding that if the state income does not increase.
Akeredolu said his administration has appointed 41 Permanent Secretaries based on merit and seniority in the civil service.
He also disclosed that his administration had promoted deserving workers, while the 2020 promotion exercise had already commenced but it was being delayed by COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the training and retraining of workers has started, adding that building well-trained workers will promote efficiency and productivity.
According to the Governor, officers in some critical areas of the work force, like doctors and nurses have been recruited for improved health care delivery service in the state.
He said: “through you, the labour leaders, I want to thank all our health workers. They are doing a great job. I want to thank God that the 3rd Coronavirus case, a medical officer, has been discharged.”