*N5,000 cash transfer to 10,000 households, food distribution, free shuttle buses for workers and students top list
*Govt to meet outstanding obligations to workers
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, has approved the recommendations of the committee set up to look into the various measures the government could take to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal on the citizens of the state.
Briefing Journalists on Wednesday at the Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Ado-Ekiti, the State Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, who is chairman of the committee, Mr Akintunde Oyebode, said the palliative measures cover people in the formal and informal sectors as well as the elederly and the indigent citizens.
According to Oyebode, some of the succour to be enjoyed by workers, tagged Ekiti State Subsidy Relief Programme include immediate payment of consequential adjustment of the minimum wage to officers on Grade levels 14-17; leave bonus of 2017 as well as the implementation and payment of 2020 and 2021 promotion arrears.
Other palliatives as approved by the Governor for the informal sector are N5,000 monthly conditional cash transfer to 10,000 poor and most vulnerable households from August to December 2023 with particular emphasis on the aged; while another 10,000 residents and most especially the aged would be considered for free medical attention through the EKHIS programme (Ulera wa).
To cushion the effect of the high cost of transportation especially on workers and students, the Ekiti government would make available mass transit buses as free shuttles for workers and students to and from their places of assignments while foodstuff would also be distributed to the poor and most vulnerable households.
Other approval of the Governor, according to the committee, included the implementation of 90 per cent CONHESS and 100 per cent Hazard allowance for local government Health Workers as well as salary parity for clinical staff of the Hospitals Management Board.
Oyebode restated the commitment of Governor Oyebanji led government to the people of the state and assured them that the increased revenue which culminated from the removal of fuel subsidy would lead to improved service delivery from the government as Governor Oyebanji was irrevocably committed to his vision of shared prosperity driven by the six pillars of his administration.
“In response to this discomfort, Governor Oyebanji set up a committee to propose an urgent intervention that will soften the impact of these necessary decisions. The committee which I had the honour of chairing, met with various stakeholders, including representatives of organized labour to discuss possible interventions, within the limited resources available to us. We have now completed our assignment, and will now present Ekiti State Subsidy Relief Programme to you.
“In addition to the already mentioned interventions, the Governor has also approved additional interventions designed to directly impact our poorest and most vulnerable residents to include a food distribution programme that will commence this month, distribution of inputs to farmers as well as financial support to small businesses and our informal sector.” The Commissioner stated.
In their responses, leaders of organized labour in the state including Chairmen, Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Kolapo Olusola; Trade Union Congress, Sola Adigun and Joint Negotiation Council, Comrade, Ajoloko Oluwafemi, who were present at the media briefing, took turns to express their appreciation to Governor Oyebanji for his love for workers and the entire citizens of the state, describing him as the first Governor who had taken stringent and enduring measures to ameliorate the suffering of the people inherent from fuel subsidy removal.
The labour leaders described the action of the Governor as unprecedented in the annals of labour–government relationship in Nigeria, stressing that Governor Oyebanji assented to all the proposals brought before him without hesitation.
Other members of the committee at the briefing included Secretary to the State Government, Dr Habibat Adubiaro, and Head of Service, Barr. Bamidele Agbede.