Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has charged workers in the state to exhibit commitment and dedication to duty even as he assured that his administration will continue working hard towards repositioning civil service for better efficiency, improved service delivery
Governor Inuwa Yahaya gave this indication while addressing workers in the State to mark this year’s International Workers’ Day Celebration at the Pantami Township Stadium.
The Governor described the theme for this year’s workers day celebration, “COVID – 19 Pandemic, Social and Economic Crisis: Challenges for Jobs, Social Protection and Peoples Welfare” as apt and timely because of the significant labour, economic and social disruptions caused by the pandemic.
He noted that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated measures such as lockdown have led to loss of jobs, transition to remote work and productivity losses, saying governments all over the world are experiencing economic downturn, and are struggling to pay salaries and meet the welfare needs of their workers.
He however said, “In Gombe State, we have been able to continue the payment of salaries to workers and monthly pension to retirees as at when due. Moreover, we are also able to pay billions of naira to settle outstanding pensions and gratuities inherited from previous administration, our intention is to clear all outstanding pensions and gratuities because we believe that our civil servants deserve to live in comfort and dignity after retirement”.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya used the occasion to commend the leadership of the organized labour for their resillence as well as support and cooperation on issues affecting workers and the general progress of the State.
He assured them of his administration’s unwavering commitment to provide socio-economic development to improve the well-being of people.
“As we are all aware, the Civil Service is the engine room for the implementation of Government policies and programmes. It is in consideration of this that our administration is working hard towards repositioning the civil service for better efficiency and improved service delivery. To this end, we have established the Bureau of Public Service Reforms to spearhead the transformation of our civil service. We are also embarking on ambitious housing projects to cater for the welfare needs of our civil servants”.
The Governor said he is fully aware of the challenges affecting workers in the State, noting that since assumption of office, his administration has been working with the NLC leadership on how to better improve the welfare and working condition of the state’s civil servants.
He explained that Gombe State is among the first States that implemented the 30,000-minimum wage, though it had to suspend it due to the pandemic and eventually bring it back as promised, immediately after the economic situation had stabilized.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya called on civil servants to demonstrate commitment and dedication in the discharge of their responsibilities, saying Government will not condone the culture of laziness and ineptitude that characterized the service over the years.
Earlier in his address, chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Gombe state chapter, Comrade Muhammad Adamu Musa explained that workers day celebration is to commemorate the struggles of workers around the world for the advancement of their rights to humane condition of work and enhanced welfare.
The Gombe NLC chairman lauded Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for the prompt payment of workers salaries and pensions as well as the restoration of the 30,000 minimum wage to workers in the State which was earlier suspended due to a dip in the economy occasioned by the covid-19 Pandemic.
Comrade Adamu Musa also praised the Governor for the release of 1.5 billion naira and the 775 million naira respectively for the payment of first and second tranches of gratuities arrears to retired civil servants in the State.
He appealed to the Governor to consider the extension of the 30,000 minimum wage to local Government workers in the State.
On his part the controller of labour in the State, comrade Magaji Lamido said the rights of Trade Union is guaranteed under a democratic environment and therefore want to pursue their demands within the confines of the law.
Highlights of the occasion include march pass by the industrial unions and cultural performance.
It will be recalled that the state Commissioner of Finance, Muhammad Gambo Magaji had earlier announced that no fewer than 668 workers in Gombe State have been suspended from the payroll following the commencement of the implementation of biometrics.
He said the affected workers did not show up for verification after the commencement of the enrollment, hence their suspension from the payroll.
The commissioner said 431 workers from the 84 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the state were affected.
He said the biometrics had been piloted in two local governments – Gombe and Akko – and also in the Local Education Authority (LEA) of both local governments.
According to him, in Gombe LG, a total of 103 staff didn’t show up for the biometrics comprising 44 LG staff and 59 LEA staff.
Ismaila Uba Misilli
( Press Affairs)