Full Text Of ADC , Gubernatorial Candidate With Ogun NLC In Abeokuta. ...Towards An Optimised Public Service Delivery - The People's Voice


Thursday, February 16, 2023

Full Text Of ADC , Gubernatorial Candidate With Ogun NLC In Abeokuta. ...Towards An Optimised Public Service Delivery

By Our Correspondent

Text of Address delivered by Barrister Biyi Otegbeye, Gubernatorial Candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in a Pre-Election Engagement with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ogun State Chapter. 15/02/2023 Protocols:

 1). I reckon my presence here this morning a rare privilege; and I say this in humility and honour because, the opportunity afforded me to present myself before this great union, a body of those who sweat day and ni itght to offer the delivery of public service to the masses – is not one to be take for granted. Please accept the offer of my profound courtesies. 

 2). My reverence for this body is not because I seek for political patronage (just as any candidate seeking for votes would necessarily do); but rather, it is coming from the understanding of my evolution; my life trajectory – having been born and raised by parents who were both civil servants – Teachers precisely. 

 3). I lived through it all and saw first-hand, the modest lifestyle, itinerant working life, the struggles of service time and the peculiar challenges after retirement – such as many grapple with today; therefore, I am always empathetic to the course and plight of this productive class of people while in service and after it. 

 4). Ogun State boasts one of the best workforces in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that did not start today. We have been a “Class Act” in this regard and it is not farfetched why we have continued to be one of the best notwithstanding the inherent challenges you have faced to be continually productive. It has been years of successive delivery of service to the masses of our people and I salute you all – those currently in service and our revered heroes that have served meritoriously.

 5). My coming here today, though premised on your invitation, also satisfies my lingering desire to interface with your union on matters that I consider germane to the interest of Workers and the State in whole. Without preempting you, my planned intervention will be in two parts. First off, I will address matters that relate directly to the service issues and secondly, give an overview of my agenda for Ogun State people; while humbly seeking your support and votes for the upcoming election on March 11th 2023.

 6). As a State, we are again standing at the threshold of history; to redefine the fine lines of our strong belief in justice and equity; to broaden the horizon of our potentials; to chart a new direction for our growth and development; to set the tone for fresh frontiers about the opportunities of today and shinning promises of tomorrow. 

 7). Our workforce is today replete with challenges that are entrenched and deleterious to the Ogun State that I envision. In the course of pursuing this noble ambition to offer transformational leadership for our dear State, I took time to inundate myself with existential realities in every sector of our life – the civil service inclusive. After all, those who crave to lead must demonstrate knowledge and capacity; suffice to say I am not oblivious of the issues at hand. 

 8). The Ogun Labour situation, though records existing challenges that predates the current administration, but the matters have deteriorated inexorably in the last 45 months. I know the Organized Labour comprising NLC/TUC/JNC is not happy at his time and we are sufficiently aware how bad things have become under the current dishonest administration that failed to honour promises made to you all in 2019. 

9). I am aware, without going into full details (for brevity of time), that some of the issues across all cadres of the service include but not limited the following: * Unpaid gratuities to State and Local Government Retirees for years running and failure of current administration to fulfill promised payment plan. * Unpaid Statutory Leave Bonuses and Allowances. * Non-recruitment into Ministries, Departments and Agencies. 
* Accumulated global deductions of over 21months. 
* Non-remittance of Contributory Pensions Deductions of over 150 months. 
* 2021 and 2022 staff promotion exercises remain outstanding. 
 * Absence of basic facilities and amenities in State-owned offices. 
* Inability of workers to stop or to even reduce the cooperatives society deductions; which went worse in recent years. 
 * Non-payment of 13th-month salary and gross salaries. 
* Arbitrary surcharge of workers under the pretext of certification, inter-cadre and lateral crossing etc 
* Late and staggered payment of salary and pensions (when paid).
 * Stoppage of sponsorship to Mecca and Jerusalem. 
* Stoppage of Contributory Pension deduction. 
 * Death of workers due arising from health issues and inability to access loans from banks and cooperatives.
 * Lack of Training and capacity building for workers.
 * No Loan scheme for workers. 

 10). In the Local Governments also, I understand the contentious issue for Autonomy; especially the total withdrawal of local government revenue; thereby stifling them of funds to function effectively. Teachers have also complained of:
 * Lack of fidelity to N1,000 rural allowance.
 * No Gazetting of the offices of “Principals-General” and “Headmasters-General”. 
* Non restoration of 27.5℅ Teachers' Peculiar Allowance as promised in 2019. 
* Arbitrary and inconsiderate transfer of teachers. The situation of Pensioners even breaks my heart the more. I am aware that: 
 * Since the inception of current administration, pensioners experience irregular and staggered payment that most time runs into the 25th of the following month. 
* Failure of Government to increase the promised 500 million naira quarterly payment of gratuity to 500 million monthly as demanded but did a paltry increase to 600 million naira with two quarters unpaid. * Failure to meet Pensioners throughout this tenure.
 * Non-implementation of the Federal Government circular of 2010 on 33.4% increase in pensions. We still have pensioners collecting N5,000 only as pension. (Consequential Adjustment needed) 
* Government is owning 10 years gratuities of Local Government retirees and 7 years of State workers' retirees. 
* Non resuscitation of the suspended Local Government Pension Committee and Bureau of State Pension. 
* Non remittance of over 150 months of Contributory Pension Deduction. 

 11). Ladies and Gentlemen, we will not only point out the current failings and deprivations of the working class; we will do it differently. Permit me to reiterate to the benefit of this great gathering that the incoming ADC administration under my humble leadership has a Vision to “Fix Ogun State and Repair the Broken Systems”. Our Mission is to “Create Opportunities for all Classes of People, Restore the glory of the Gateway State, Enhance the Dignity of Citizens and Establish a Culture of Collective Growth and Shared Prosperity”. 

 12). The vehicle to achieve these objectives is through our manifesto called Pathways to Prosperity, a Five (5) cardinal proramme that is listed as follows: ~ Sustainable and Accelerated Economic Growth. ~ Optimized Public Services, Good Governance and Leadership. ~ Livable Communities and Creation of New Towns. ~ Impactful Social Services. ~ Development of people-Focused Infrastructure. 

 13). Item two on this agenda, among other things, focuses strongly on strengthening the institution of the Civil Service – Optimizing their capacity to deliver more effectively, attending to the issues of welfare, remuneration, addressing decisively, the perennial issues around pensions, gratuities, cooperative deductions, bonuses, promotions and other plausible conditions of service – as enumerated in foregoing paragraphs. We recognize that for development to be rapid, our civil servants need to be properly treated and catered for. Through our plan for Optimized Public Services, Good Governance and Leadership, we hope to make priority, the welfare of our workforce which will in turn improve productivity. We will initiate capacity building, institutional strengthening, and reactivate service charters generally in public service matters in order to improve responsiveness, accountability and quality performance levels.

 14). Specifically, the incoming ADC administration under my humble leadership, will frontally address the identified challenges as follows:
 * Establishment of Ministry of Labour, Establishment and Productivity to solve nearly all the problems and challenges as part of strengthening the institution. It will also address recruiting into MDAs, boards and commission – In conjunction with the Civil Service Commission and continuously arbitrate service matters.
 * We shall convene on May 29th 2023, a strong Ad-hoc Committee (inclusive of NLC/TUC/NUP/NUT/JNC) with a mandate to bring a Global Status Report from 2011 on the state of salaries, pensions, gratuities, cooperative deductions, promotions, bonuses, recruitments and all associated service matters.
 * The issue of statutory leave allowances and deductions would be looked into and lasting solution proffered (with commitment to faithful implementation) within our first 100 days in office.
 * We shall commence payment of gross salaries within 100 days. 
* Promotions will be revisited immediately we get into office and financial backing will be provided based on review and recommendation of the committee. 
* We will stop irregular/staggered pension and have regular interface with pensioners. 
* We will respect Federal Government’s directives that pension should also be reviewed every 5 years or each time the minimum wage is reviewed.
 * We will revisit the suspended Local Government Pension Committee and Bureau of State Pension for the effective administration of the pensioners. 
* We will constructively engage on stoppage of Contributory Pension Scheme due to Government’s debt on unremitted deductions 
* Educational Resource Management will be revitalized to resolve the issues of the Structure, Students, Infrastructure, Members of Teaching staff, Recruitment, Remuneration, Training, Discipline, Loan Scheme, Posting/Transfer of teachers, Promotion and Leave Bonus. 
* ‘Principal General’ and ‘Headmasters General’ will be “Gazetted” in our administration.

 15). Permit me to state that it is not these electoral promises that matters but the sincerity of heart and capacity to do the right things for the people. I and my deputy Alhaji Tunde Awonuga are conscious of the weight of responsibility on us and we shall not disappoint you all; because our word will be our bond.

 16). I seek your support on March 11th, 2023. A vote for the ADC will be a paradigm shift from the worn out systems into a people-focused administration – one that will usher Ogun State into its next phase of social rebirth, economic renaissance, physical growth and shared prosperity for its people. 

 17). Let me use this medium to extend our lavish appreciation to members of this union who have been our supporters and have shown us solidarity in our struggles thus far. 

 18). God bless the Organized Labour, God bless African Democratic Congress and God bless Ogun State. 

 19). Thank you all for listening. ‘ 

Barrister Biyi Otegbeye, Gubernatorial Candidate, African Democratic Congress (ADC) 15/02/2023

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