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Oyo releases N1.5bn for payment of gratuity to retired primary school teachers, LGs workers

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• Approves new financial benefits for workers

Oyo State Government on Tuesday said that it has released the sum of One Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira (N1.5bn) as part payment of outstanding gratuity and pension arrears to retired primary school teachers and local government workers in the state.

Also, the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has approved that the current salary of workers in the state be paid with their new financial benefits in line with 2012 – 2016 promotion exercise as recommended by the Technical Committee set up by the governor on February 14, 2019.

The government stated that the sum of Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (750M) will also be contributed quarterly by the Local Governments and its Local Council Development Areas (LCDAS) in the state for the same purpose in order to offset the accumulated gratuities of the retired local government workers including retired primary school teachers at all grade levels.

The State Government said this during a joint Press Conference involving the representatives of the State Government, the Local governments Chairmen, the Pensions Board, the Nigeria Union Pensioners and some of the affected pensioners at the Film Theatre, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Secretariat, Ibadan.

The Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Oluseun Abimbola explained that the decision was taken after the out of court settlement between the state government and the NUP, saying that retired LGs workers should visit their various local governments to know the modalities involved in the collection of their gratuities.

Abimbola, who was with his counterparts from the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade and Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun stated that the NUP and government recently received the enrolled order of the National Industrial Court, Ibadan Division delivered by Hon. Justice Dele Peters, ratifying the terms of out of court settlement agreed between the Government and the Pensioners’ Unions on Monday March 4, 2019, stressing that the government has commenced the payment of the N1.5bn.

He noted that the out of court settlement proffered solution to the about 12 years of pensions arrears and gratuity, stating that steps have been taken to ensure that all due pensions will be      paid as at when due without adding it to the arrears on ground.

Abimbola said, “the resolution and the court’s pronouncement recognized that the accrued Pension and Gratuity arrears was, and remains the statutory duty and responsibility of the Local Government to pay to retirees of primary school teachers as well as the local government staff, thus the Oyo State Government never had the liability nor obligation by law and is not the one owing this arrears as being speculated in some certain quarters. Nevertheless, Governor Ajimobi intervened and directed we engage all stakeholders to ensure a final resolution of this age-long matter inherited by this administration.

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We have also agreed with the NUP as part of the terms of resolution to immediately commence a biometric exercise in order to eradicate any hidden incident of ghost workers/pensioners in the local government service or teaching service,” the Attorney General said.

In his address, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade reiterated that the payment is for both deceased and living retirees, calling for maximum cooperation from the NUP so that the government efforts in alleviating the suffering of the retirees will be fruitful.

Speaking on behalf of the pensioners, the State Secretary of NUP, Comrade Olusegun Abatan thanked Governor Abiola Ajimobi  for the kind gesture in settling the many years of imbroglio affecting the retired primary schools teachers and local government workers in the state, urging that the government should ensure that the next disbursement as agreed in the terms of settlement is ready as at when due.

The representative of local government chairmen, Chief Bosun Ajuwon, assured that local governments will live up to their expectation as all chairmen have budgeted a huge amount of money to be set aside monthly to ensure prompt payment of the outstanding, regretting that the pensioners’ arrears which predated this administration was just being resolved.

Implementation commenced immediately with the cheque presentation to some of the retirees after the Press briefing, while the process with payment to other pensioners are expected to continue tomorrow.

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Varsity Don to Governors: ‘Declare State Of Emergency As Measure to Restore Peace, Security In South West

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The Director, Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan, Professor Tajudeen Akanji has  called on the Governors in the South West region; Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Rotimi Akreredolu (Ondo) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) to declare state of emergency as a measure to restore peace and security in the region. 

Akanji made this declaration recently while speaking as guest speaker at the 4th Surveyor Lasisi Lasupo Ali Annual Lecture entitled, “Emerging Security Threats, State Stability and Economic Development of South Western Nigeria”, organized by Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), which was held in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
At the event were the Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Muhammed Fadeyi, Chairman of the occasion, Mr Adelodun Olaiya, NIS National President, Surveyor Alabo Charles and Chairman, Oyo State branch of NIS, Surveyor Aderemi Femi Kobiowu.
The South West region, in the last few months, had experienced cases of kidnapping and reported cases of killings by some people suspected to be bandits and armed robbers. One of such cases was the kidnap of Dayo Adewole, a son of a former Minister for Health, Professor Isacc Adewole, at Iroko, near Ibadan.
However, Akanji while reacting, said that one of the panacea to the problem of insecurity which is said is alien to the region, is “for the governors to declare a state of emergency as a measure to restore peace and security to the region.”
Akanji who indicated that the drivers of insecurity include globalization which he said has broken down trade barriers between nations, expansion and integration of economies as well as people, also called on the Nigerian Government to reorganize its security and military formations by introduce state policing and as well address the poverty and unemployment in the country.

He blamed the high rate of crime in Nigeria to a number of factors including “the state’s incapacity to forecast and address early warning signals on insecurity. “Most of the challenges we face are results of governance deficit.

“Although insecurity is a global phenomenon, the difference between communities and states with security issues is their proactiveness and ability to prepare, forecast, project, confront and recover from the security challenges.”

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Ogundoyin in his address, said as part of efforts to nip the security challenges in the bud, Oyo State Government will soon unveil a new security architecture.

“We have taken security for granted in Nigeria. I recall that while we were growing up, we could move around freely without any fear.

“Oyo State House of Assembly is ready to partner with the Nigerian Institution of Surveyor in all possible ways including ways to ensure security in Oyo Sate.”

Olaiya lauded the efforts of NIS, Oyo State for considering it appropriate to honour Pa L. L. Ali with the Annual Lecture series saying the gesture shows the recognition of selfless service and respect “Baba” has for the profession.

Olaiya who spoke on behalf of L. L. Ali Family said Pa Ali’s honesty, discipline and virtues, have now constituted lasting heritage which brought about the annual lecture in honour of the celebrant.

Charles said the annual lecture in honour of the septuagenarian L. L. Ali is the best thing to for the man who has paid his due not only to the surveying profession but to humanity.

Kobiowu said the 98-year old Surveyor L. L. Ali is a connosus in the surveying profession because of his uncompromising respect for the ethics of the job in his active days and therefore he is being celebrated with the annual lecture.

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Oyo Will Certainly Break The Poverty Barrier When We All Pay Tax – Makinde

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In order to be able to fulfill his promises on provision of social amenities, enduring infrastructures, regular payment of government obligations and other amenities, the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has pleaded for the support of different stakeholders operating in the State on adequate deductions, prompt Remittance of Taxes and other levies.

 

This was stated during a One Day Sensitization workshop on Computations, Deductions and Remittances for Federal and State Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as Tertiary Institutions in the state held at the House of Chiefs, Secretariats, Ibadan.

 

Speaking on behalf of Engr. Seyi Makinde, the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Internal Revenue Service, Aremo John Adeleke reiterated that the intention of the present administration was not going to over-burden any business enterprise either small or big but rather to ensure government get its fair and reasonable share of all its eligible tax revenue.

 

Makinde said, “Presently, the fluctuations and other complex gyrations of the international Oil market and the global economy means unstable and often lower revenue from Federal allocation. The need to look inward to generate enough internal revenue to cater for the much societal demand has never been this much.

 

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“We count on Companies and other businesses to ensure they regularly deduct and remit their employees’ PAYE tax to covers of our treasury. This will ensure mutual reciprocation of right and duties on the part of all parties. I regard such complying institutions, business and contractors as friends of my government and corporate citizens of this State of enduring opportunities.”

 

Welcoming the participants in his speech, Aremo Adeleke tasked Professional Bodies, Tax Professionals, Consultants, Taxpayers and Agents to discharge their responsibilities as stipulated by the National Tax Policy of 2017.

 

He also urged all MDAs, Federal and State as well as Tertiary Institutions to ensure they give patronage only to individuals and companies with a record of regular and up to date remittance of their employees’ Pay As You Earn (PAYE).

 

In his remark, the head of the partnering firm, Mr Femi Adeniji explained that the workshop was about sensitizing various agencies about their responsibility that pertained to tax and other dues, adding that participants will be taught the right ways of making deductions so as not to shortchange the government.

 

The workshop had in attendance officials of State and Federal Ministries,Directorates and Agencies (MDAs),private business sectors representatives and other stakeholders.

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A double-digit investment in the agricultural sector is needed to transform agriculture, says IITA’s Sanginga

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A double-digit investment in the agricultural sector backed by a vibrant rural infrastructural network will help states in Nigeria to accelerate the transformation of agriculture, says Dr Nteranya Sanginga, Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

“No matter our good intentions, we will not see a transformation in agriculture if we continue to invest less than 10 percent of our budget on agriculture,” Dr Sanginga said during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, in Ibadan.

In 2003, African heads of state in Maputo made a commitment to invest at least 10 percent of their annual budgets in agriculture. Sixteen years after the declaration, only a few countries have implemented that declaration.

“One of the countries that has fulfilled the commitment is Ethiopia…Ethiopia is today investing more than 10 percent and that country is witnessing a rapid transformation in agriculture,” Dr Sanginga explained.

Making reference to the Oyo State Agricultural Policy framework, the IITA boss said that Oyo state’s investment in agriculture had nosedived from about 7 percent to 2 percent from 1995 to 2017, adding that the new administration needs to reverse the trend.

On rural infrastructure, Dr Sanginga said the government should pay close attention to rehabilitation of rural roads (feeder roads) to help the transportation of agricultural products from the farm to the markets.

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He decried the deterioration of infrastructure in several farm settlements in Oyo state and urged the government to tackle the trend.

Dr Sanginga also called on the government to seek ways to involve the youths in agriculture, stressing that inclusiveness was imperative for sustainability in the agricultural development agenda of the state.

In his response, Governor Makinde commended the IITA DG for the courtesy visit and pledged the commitment of the state to work with IITA to achieve agricultural transformation.

The governor noted that his administration had identified four pillars: education, rural infrastructure, economic development (agriculture), and security to help bring the dividends of democracy to the people of Oyo state.

He noted that for the state to attain economic development, agriculture must be transformed.

“This is because most of our people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Besides, through agricultural transformation, we will be able to provide the needed jobs for our youths…the jobs we promised during the election campaigns,” he added.

On infrastructure, the governor said work on one of the major agricultural roads (Moniya to Iseyin) would commence soon. On completion, the road would ease the movement of farm produce to the market. He also said that discussions were in top gear with the federal government to rehabilitate the Oyo town-Iseyin road.

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On the courtesy visit to the Governor were Drs Kenton Dashiell, IITA Deputy Director General (Partnerships for Delivery); Alfred Dixon, Director for Development & Delivery; Tahirou Abdoulaye, Impact Economist; Godwin Atser, Digital Extension & Advisory Services Specialist; Toyin Oke, Manager, Resource Mobilization, Protocol and External Liaison; Oludamilare Odusanya and Adetola Adenmosun, IITA Youth Agripreneurs.

The meeting with the Governor was facilitated by Debo Akande, Executive Adviser to the Governor onAgribusiness.

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