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LGs must meet obligations to workers, says Oshiomhole

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Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says Local Government Councils must meet their obligations as specified in the constitution even as he said the state government would assist the Local Governments in re-engineering their finances in order to meet their obligations to their workers.

Speaking at the 17th Synod of the Anglican Communion, held at the St. John’s Anglican Church in Benin City, Friday, the Governor who attended the Synod in company of his wife Iara, and several top government functionaries said “Every day you read newspapers, watch television, there is no doubt that this is the most difficult period in Nigeria’s history, perhaps since 1999, probably even before then.

So difficult that in about two-thirds of states, civil servants, public servants are working and for 6 months, their salaries are not paid, schools are closed, the children of the poor are at home and only the children of those who can afford private schools are being taught, compounding the problem of illiteracy with the concomitant security implication and yet we still have relative peace.

“In this state, we are not perfect, we have asked God to govern the state for us and I believe he is governing the state for us. I am proud to say that in our South-south geopolitical zone, we receive the lowest allocation but we are the only one who is up-to-date in the payment of salaries to workers who work for Edo State Government.”

He said, “There are things going on across the states. There are some of our Local Governments who are not able to pay workers. We are working hard to get them to recognize that the bible says ‘the laborer is entitled to his wages’ whether or not the employer is rich. We are working hard to assist them, to re-engineer their finances because we have no money to give them; we have to tell them to meet their own obligations as specified in the constitution.

“If you look around the country, if you look at Federal projects in Edo State, the construction of Benin-Auchi Roads, once the elections were over, the contractors were gone but our contractors working for Edo State on Siluko road, 2nd East Circular Road, Upper Mission, Queen Ede Erosion Site, the Ekenwan Erosion project is on, the Central Hospital project is going on and we are certain to finish it and complete it this year.

“People ask me how are we able to make this possible and I say to God be the glory because we know what to do and what to stop doing in this moment of financial crisis and to know what we can’t afford to stop and to stop what we need to stop. It requires God’s guidance and courage and by the Grace of God we will continue.

“The State has been kind to me, the people have been generous, they have lavishly supported me not only by voting but also in prayers in spite of my own weaknesses and failings and therefore we are committed to doing everything we can such that the wind of development in this state will not slow down. I am committed to the fact that wherever mistakes have been made, I will try to correct.

“I personally appreciate the role of the church in our lives. We cannot thank our people enough for all they have had to tolerate.

“I ask you to pray for our President that God will govern Nigeria for him.”

Earlier, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Benin, Bishop Peter Imasuen in an address of welcome commended the Governor for his contributions not only to the Anglican Communion but to all Christians in Edo State.

He said, “I want to thank you for what you are doing in the life of men and women in Edo State. Before now, it was difficult for us to go through Siluko road, today you can go through it without fear of erosion. With the limited resources, you have been able to put smiles on the faces of the people and we are grateful. It is our duty and the duty of the church to support any party that is doing well and wherever we feel the government is not doing well, we also draw their attention.

“Your government has been very effective in the area of development physical and spiritual. Your government has been listening to many of our suggestions”, he said.

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