Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has assured local government workers in the state of security of their jobs.
The Governor who gave the assurance on Friday during interactive sessions with council workers in five local government areas, also revealed that their leave bonuses have been paid to their respective councils.
He also told the workers that his administration gives the local councils what is due to them from the Federation Account and had never tampered with their allocations from the federal purse.
Governor Fayemi also assured the local government staff that the payment of arrears of their minimum wage and promotions will commence this month, adding that he has directed that the arrears be cleared and that a committee responsible for the task will be mandated to speed up the process.
The state number one citizen held interactive sessions with local government workers under the aegis of the state chapter of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) from Ikere, Ise/Orun and Ekiti Southwest in Ikere-Ekiti and those from Ado and Irepodun/Ifelodun in Ado-Ekiti.
Expressing surprise with the claims of the council workers that they were yet to be paid their leave bonus, the Governor maintained that the bonus had been released to their respective councils. He told the workers that his administration will consider the direct lodgement of their leave bonus through the e-payment system to eliminate the problem of delay in payment of the leave bonus.
Governor Fayemi said, “We are not owing any local government leave bonus at all, I want to reiterate that there is no local government in the state that we are owing leave bonus.
“If your local government has not paid you, the issue is in the hands of those at the helm in your respective local government but we will ensure that the system investigates why some local government workers have not received their leave bonus.
“Quote me, since I became governor, we have not owed leave bonus. In fact, leave bonus has been paid up to October 2013 and if you have not received your leave bonus, I deserve to know. We have given them your money in your local government and if they have not given you, we will investigate.”
Refuting a rumour that there is a list on his table containing names of redundant local government workers whose appointment will be terminated, Governor Fayemi described the insinuation as an “arrant nonsense”.
“That is arrant and total nonsense, it is not true. I don’t have any list of council workers on my table whose appointment will be terminated.
“Why will I want to terminate the appointment of somebody who is properly employed? In fact, terminating appointment of any council worker is an additional burden on me because each of you have four or five dependants.
“If you live in Lagos and you collect salaries in Ado or Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government, then NULGE should be interested in that.
Responding to questions on paucity of funds in the council, the Governor said the issue is a general problem not only to the councils but also to state governments in the country. The governor explained that allocations due to states and local governments are dwindling from the Federation Account saying “it is only Abuja that can explain why.”
He said, “If there is any governor not getting involved in the management of local government funds, it is Governor Fayemi. “What belongs to the local governments is utilized by the local governments in Ekiti. In fact, the Federal Ministry of Finance publishes what comes to the local government system in Ekiti.
“When JAAC meets, it decides what goes to salaries, teachers, primary health care and so on. Fayemi has nothing to do with the management of council funds”.
The Governor also promised to consider the inclusion NULGE representatives on the Joint Accounts Allocation Committee (JAAC).
The state chief executive told the workers that arrangements have been made to put more resources into the Loans Board to grant them more access to car and housing loans.
Speaking on some workers who have not been absorbed after taking their exams, the governor revealed that the list has been compiled but the financial implication is being studied.
Answering questions on what his administration has in store for workers at Yuletide, the governor explained that government has been improving on end-of-the-year package assuring workers of a better package this year.
The Governor appealed to workers to always cross-check whatever they hear from any quarter and not to listen to rumour adding that his interface with them will go a long way in clearing any fog of doubt in the system.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission, Chief Ranti Adebisi, commended the governor for approving car and housing loans to the tune of N267 million.
He also explained that promotion arrears of 3,400 council workers have been taken care of saying the process will continue next year.
Adebisi disclosed that a total number of 700 council workers have been sponsored to seminars while 32 workers were recalled after their cases were reviewed.
He revealed further that the governor has approved the construction of new headquarters for the commission which will be completed and inaugurated next year.