Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has approved N10,000 monthly palliative for workers. The N10,000 monthly palliative is to help workers cope with the recent fuel subsidy removal and its attendant economic impacts.
The government’s decision was announced at a press conference addressed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, at the Government House, Ilorin on Monday.
Ajakaye said, “On top of the palliatives is a cash support of N10,000 for every public sector worker in the state, which will begin this month (July) and last until a new minimum wage is introduced to enable workers to cope with the economic shocks created by the subsidy removal.
“In deference to the new advisory of the National Economic Council for states to design their own independent responses to the development, the governor has directed the leadership of the civil service to continue a staggered work schedule — not exceeding three days a week — to reduce transportation expenses for workers,” he said.
Kwara had earlier introduced a 3-day work schedule for its civil servants but suspended it in deference to an earlier advisory of the NEC for states to await a more holistic response to the development. The staggered work plan will not cover ‘essential workers, the governor’s spokesman clarified.
“The governor has similarly approved the payment, from this month, July, of new hazard and skipping allowances, and 100% CONMESS for consultants and medical doctors under the government’s payroll.
“He also approved a new regime of allowances for nurses working for the state government. The whole essence is to check attrition rate in the health sector, and attract and retain medics and specialists to provide improved, qualitative healthcare services for the people of the state,” he added.
“The governor has also endorsed immediate cash-backing of 2019 and 2020 promotion for Teaching Service Commission workers. The administration had earlier cash-backed arrears of promotion for TESCOM for the years 2015-2018.
“In the same vein, he has approved cash-backing for the 2021 promotion exercise of teaching and non-teaching staff of SUBEB and restoration of steps to all of them. This is a policy response to the yearnings of SUBEB workers since 2016 when SUBEB workers no longer had steps.
“The Governor also approved the extension of free bus rides for students of tertiary institutions in the state, while modalities for occasional distribution of food to poor and most vulnerable households are to be activated in the next few days.
“This shall be nonpartisan and would be coordinated by a government team to be supported by respected stakeholders who would get inputs from traditional rulers, religious bodies, market leaders, trade unionists, and community-based organisations to generate the lists of beneficiaries and disburse accordingly.
“The whole idea of these interventions, which gulp billions of naira of public funds, is to show empathy and deploy as much resources as the state can afford to support the people at this special time.
“The Governor has also approved the Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP) to activate N500m worth of conditional support for petty traders and MSMEs in the state.
“The state government will receive fertilisers and grains from the Federal Government and pay for same. It is not free. Modalities for the handling of these will be made available later. This is to boost farming outputs and food security in the state.
“The government, meanwhile, will be setting up a committee to interface with marketers on the need to curb extortionist tendencies as seen in the arbitrary fixing of prices of foodstuffs.”