In response to the recent removal of the petrol subsidy and its consequential economic impacts, Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has approved a monthly palliative of N10,000 for all public sector workers in the state.
The decision was announced by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, during a press conference at the Government House in Ilorin on Monday.
Ajakaye explained that the cash support of N10,000 per month will be provided to workers from July until the introduction of a new minimum wage. The aim is to assist workers in coping with the financial challenges arising from the subsidy removal.
Acknowledging the new advisory from the National Economic Council (NEC), which urges states to design independent responses to the subsidy removal, Governor AbdulRazaq has directed the civil service leadership to continue a staggered work schedule. This schedule, limited to three days a week, aims to reduce transportation expenses for workers.
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However, the staggered work plan will not include “essential workers,” clarified the governor’s spokesman.
In addition to the monthly palliative, the governor has also approved the payment of new hazard and skipping allowances for consultants and medical doctors under the government’s payroll, beginning this month (July). A new allowance regime for nurses working for the state government has also been endorsed. These measures are aimed at reducing attrition in the health sector and attracting and retaining healthcare professionals to provide better healthcare services for the people of Kwara.
Furthermore, Governor AbdulRazaq has given his endorsement for the immediate cash-backing of 2019 and 2020 promotions for Teaching Service Commission workers. The administration had previously cash-backed arrears of promotions for TESCOM for the years 2015-2018. Similarly, cash-backing has been approved for the 2021 promotion exercise of teaching and non-teaching staff of SUBEB (State Universal Basic Education Board), along with the restoration of steps to all SUBEB workers, addressing the long-standing issue since 2016 when SUBEB workers no longer had steps.
Other interventions approved by the governor include the extension of free bus rides for students of tertiary institutions in the state and the activation of occasional food distribution to support poor and vulnerable households. The food distribution will be nonpartisan and coordinated by a government team, with input from traditional rulers, religious bodies, market leaders, trade unionists, and community-based organizations to ensure proper identification and disbursement to beneficiaries.
The governor also endorsed the Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP), which will activate N500 million worth of conditional support for petty traders and Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state. Additionally, the state government will purchase fertilizers and grains from the Federal Government to boost farming outputs and improve food security in Kwara.
Addressing the issue of arbitrary pricing of foodstuffs, which imposes hardships on citizens, the state government will set up a committee to engage with marketers and curb extortionist tendencies.
Governor AbdulRazaq expressed his support for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to sustainable economic reforms and the well-being of Nigerians, comparing the current discomfort to the pains preceding the birth of a joyful child.