Plans by the Governor Ayodele Fayose-led administration to prune down the
state workforce by retrenching about 3,500 workers in the state and local
government services has come under attack by an interest group, Concerned
Ekiti Patriots (CEP) who warned the governor against retrenchment or be
prepared to face the wrath of the people.
Governor Fayose had in a radio programme monitored in Lagos last week
hinted on the possibility of retrenching about 3,500 workers in a bid to
reduce the government’s monthly wages and financial burden of six months
unpaid salaries to state workers and nine months to local government staff.
The governor, who was responding to a caller in the phone-in segment of the
programme, had said that retrenching about 3,500 workers would give the
government some relief, insisting that the civil service was over-bloated.
He added that the office of the Civil Service Commission was already
compiling the list of redundant workers for the purpose of relieving them
of their duties.
But the group in a reaction by its Ekiti State Coordinator, Elder Alaba
Olugbade, said retrenching workers, who were already owed several months
of unpaid salaries, was not the solution except the governor was prepared
to face the wrath of the citizens.
The group said the two tranches of bailout, Paris Club refunds, Budget
Support Facility of monthly N1.3b and monthly allocation to the state from
the Federation Account were sufficient to offset the salaries of the
workers if properly utilised.
“Rather than waste scarce resources of the state on white elephant projects
and political patronage, the resources could be deployed for salary
payments and some basic infrastructure that would make lives of the
citizens of the state more meaningful.
“If truly Governor Fayose was serious about retrenching 3,500 workers as
the condition for financial well-being of the state as pointed out in the
radio programme, then he must be prepared to face the music as the workers
and the entire citizens who have been pressed to the wall by his obnoxious
administrative style would have no choice than to charge back.
“While we appreciate the general down-turn in the economic situation of the
country, we make bold to say that some other states, such as Lagos, Kebbi,
Taraba and Ebonyi with forward-looking governors are busy exploring other
areas of opportunities like Agriculture to shore up their revenues and
make life better for their citizens and this is paying off as reflected in
the increase in IGR and employment opportunities.
“Instead of the governor to copy his colleagues in transparency and
creativity, what Ekiti people are seeing are over-priced white elephant
projects being awarded by the governor to cronies and his family members
while no one knows anything about the internally generated revenue profile
of the state after Governor Fayose increased rates, taxes and tarrifs,
including introducing fresh and suffocating taxes.
“We can only hope that Governor Fayose will drop his daily theatrics and
wear his thinking cap and proffer solutions to the state’s economic woes.
Certainly, retrenching workers should not be part of it.
“It is sad to note that under the administration, revenue-earning projects,
such as the Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort, Ire Burnt Bricks, State Pavilion,
Fountain Investment as well as service-providing outfits, such as State
Traffic Management Agency, Peace Corps, which employed over 3,000 Ekiti
indigenes, have been crippled by the governor.
“As a group that has interest of the state and its citizens at heart, we
would not hesitate to lead a protest walk against the governor if he
refuses to order the SSG office to stop the planned retrenchment within a
week.”, the statement added.