Kwara State Government wishes to restate its commitment to promote the welfare of workers and the people of the state. This assurance is in reaction to the press briefing of the labour unions who made demands for the implementation of some outstanding allowances and emolument.
This administration, despite being among the third lowest recipients of federal allocations, has fewer rivals in the country in terms of prompt payment of salary and general welfare of workers.
In the wake of and since the removal of subsidy by the Federal Government, the administration has committed additional N1,392,135,000.00 every month to payment of palliatives to the workers alone.
As things stand today at the state level, an average of 74.06% of federal allocation to the state goes into payment of salaries and allowances of workers alone. This does not include the cost of providing government services or any public emergency. At the local government level, between 80% and 95% of their monthly allocations go into paying workers’ salary alone.
This leaves just a pittance for the rest of the population and developmental projects. It is worse at the local government level. This often forces the government to resort to different financial strategies, including loans, to maintain or expand existing infrastructure and develop new ones to ensure socioeconomic growth and human capital development.
Regardless, the administration understands the critical roles that workers play in the implementation of projects, policies, and programmes of government, and will continue to pay attention to the welfare of workers in a sustainable way. To this end, the government is already doing a lot of reviews to gradually accommodate the demands.
From the Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff to the Governor, and Office of the Head of Service, among others, the door of the government is always open to leadership of the labour unions for constructive engagement. The administration favours dialogue, mutual respect, collective bargaining, and commitment to sustainable economic growth over any other thing. Already, the Chief of Staff Alhaji Abdulkadir Mahe has been asked to initiate a new round of dialogue with the unions.
We therefore urge the labour unions to embrace dialogue and continue to reciprocate the goodwill of the government over the years in the over all interest of the taxpayers and the general public.
Mrs. Bola Olukoju
Hon. Commissioner for Communications.