The Governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola today announced the increment of the 13th month salary from 50% to 100% just as the number of car loan beneficiaries was increased from former highest figure of 2,189 to about 10,000.
The Governor made the announcement today ( Friday)in Osogbo to the delight of workers present at the official flag -off of the distribution of vehicle refurbishing loan to public servants in the state held.
He said that the ceremony is a further demonstration of the commitment of the administration to the overall welfare of the people in general and workers in the state in particular, noting that it is gratifying that the occasion coincides with the ongoing celebration of the administration’s three years in office.
The Governor ,who said the administration in a bid to keep to its electioneering promises by touching almost every aspect of human life ranging from public service, education, agriculture, commerce, transportation, industry among others ,stated that it is unprecedented in the history of the state to give vehicle refurbishing loan to an unprecedented number of beneficiaries at unusual rates running into billions of naira.
The Governor stated further that in keeping to the vow of improving the lots of workers in the state, the government decided to reinvigorate the scheme which is why the rate loanable was increased geometrically with a view to ensuring that the number of beneficiaries increases and that they derive the maximum benefit from the loan.
According to the Governor, the monthly government subvention to the fund was increased by 100%from 10million to 20million Naira and the rates available for workers were also jerked up thereby increasing the loan obtainable by workers on grade levels 1-3 from 100,000 naira to 170,000 naira, those on grade levels 9 – 10 increased from 250,000naira to 400,000naira while those on grade levels 16- 17 had theirs increased from 500,000 naira to 750,000 naira.
While stating that the total amount of the loan had been increased from #2.8billion to #4.5billion, Ogbeni Aregbesola said that the loan will spread across the entire public service, including government ministries, departments and agencies, secondary and primary schools and has been structured in a way that beneficiaries have the opportunity to pay back over a period of five years at a uniform administrative charge of 10percent spread thinly over the period.
He then assured the generality of workers that the administration will not relent in its efforts at ensuring that their welfare takes the pride of place saying that as part of efforts in ensuring this, the administration has constituted the Civil Service Commission and other bodies whose duties are primarily to ensure the welfare of public servants.
While charging workers to reciprocate government gesture by showing more commitment, loyalty ,and hard work and manifest the virtue of Omoluabi ,the Governor appealed to market men and women not to see the gesture as a means of exploiting the workers through undue and unwarranted increase in the prices of commodities saying that the programme is not a wage increase but a loan to be repaid.
He also urged the workers to be neutral and committed to the service to the people and ensure that government policies are executed accordingly.
In an address, the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Saka Adesiyan lauded the Governor’s intervention in the sector saying it is aimed at bringing sanity to the education sector. He decried the ugly incident which took place in Ejigbo stressing that it is highly unfortunate.
He then appreciated the Governor for the transparent manner in which the car refurbishing loan was done.
Also speaking, the duo of the Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Comrade Frances Adetunji and his counterpart in the Joint Negotiating Council, Alhaji Bayo Adejumo thanked the Governor for keeping the various promises made to the workers.
They then pledged the continued support of all workers in the state for the present administration.
Earlier in a welcome address, Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Wale Bolorunduro explained that necessary steps that will prevent fraud that may be associated with the manual process overseeing the loan scheme has been taken saying that no case of double payment will be experienced.
Highlights of the occasion was the official presentation of cheques to some of the beneficiaries of the loan scheme by the Governor.
Present at the ceremony were the state Deputy Governor, Mrs Grace Titi Laoye Tomori, the three labour leaders in the state, state executive members and workers in the state.