Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, has flagged off the construction of the office complex for the Local Government Service Commission and Local Government Pension Board.
Governor Makinde noted that those opposed to the project would be silenced when they see the outcome; maintaining that the State Government has commenced a gradual rehabilitation of the Secretariat complex which, he said, had been left to degenerate over the years.
He added that the process would not abate until the entire structure was given the desired face-lift.
While unveiling the 3D design for the Office Complex, the Governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, maintained that the idea of the Office Complex came from the Local Government Service Commission itself, noting that in 11 months when the project would be completed, opposition members criticizing the Government would be silenced.
He said: “We did not do anything for the 100 days in Office of this administration but, much later, we released 15 million naira to each Ministry to renovate their Offices. And I am glad, indeed, that the Secretariat is wearing a new look, not only from the outside but even from the inside. Renovation work is also going on at the Governor’s Office. In about 11 months, we will be coming back here to commission the edifice. So, I thank the Chairmen and Chairpersons of the Local Government areas and the Local Council Development areas, because everybody came together to buy into the vision and by that your singular action, we were able to raise a substantial amount that is needed for the construction of this structure.
The State Governor also congratulated the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters and Local Government Service Commission and Local Government Pension Board, saying: “It is your idea and baby and we will support you to see to its completion”.
In their separate speeches, the Chairman of the Oyo State Local Government Service Commission/Local Government Staff Pension Board, Honourable Aderemi Ayodele, and the Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Oyo State Council, Comrade Olusegun Abatan, described the flag off of the Office Complex as historic.
Mr Abatan, who praised Governor Makinde for seeing to the payment of about 5 billion naira in gratuities to retired workers of Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Parastatals, said Makinde’s administration was purposeful; as the administration has so far paid 1.98 billion naira to retirees of Primary Schools; while Local Government retires have got about 3.2 billion naira.
While speaking, Mr Ayodele commended Engr Makinde for granting the approval to begin work on the Office Complex, noting that the Governor has restored the glory of the Local Government Service Commission and Pension Board through training and retraining.
He said his Commission and its Pension Board had been tenants in the Water Corporation Building for 40 years without any administration deeming it worthy to construct an Office Complex; further stating that in the last one year, the administration, apart from paying 100 per cent pensions to retirees, has been releasing 274 million naira monthly for the payment of gratuities of retired Primary School Teachers and Local Government Staff.