Civil servants in Rivers State have expressed delight over the decision by Governor Nyesom Wike to commence the payment of the revolving interest free loan to them from this month.
This is even as they felicitated with him over his resounding victory at the March 9, 2019 governorship election.
Speaking to The Tide in an interview yesterday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Chairman of the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), Comrade Opuoyibo Lilly-West commended the Governor for the gesture, saying, it would go a long way to boost the morale of civil servants in the state.
According to him, the workers had been expecting the loan since last year, but could not get it because of other exigencies.
Lilly-West further noted that the Governor’s goodwill came to workers as a shock since he (the Governor) was just coming out of election processes, stressing that it was good that the state government decided to take the payment of the loan batch by batch to enable all those qualified for it to benefit from the gesture.
The Vice Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council in the State said the two bold steps the governor has recently taken in favour of workers were a strong indication that he has the mindset to re-energise the civil service, and commended him for the move to resolve the lingering pension issues in the state.
“We are very happy. We are sincerely happy, we thank His Excellency. Honestly, it was a great shock to us”, he said.
Lilly-West, therefore, enjoined civil servants in the state to invest the money wisely and to utilise it for the purpose it was meant and not to use it for frivolities, even though it is an interest free loan.
The labour leader, however, advised Governor Wike to energise the civil service in terms of provision of basic infrastructure and injection of fresh blood into the system in form of employment, and never to allow the civil service to die a natural death, contending that the civil service remains the glory and engine room of government.
While congratulating Governor Wike on his electoral victory, Lilly-West noted that the re-election of the governor for a second term was “a victory for all of us”, and advised him to use it to re-unite the entire Rivers people.
It would be recalled that the Rivers State Head of Service, Rufus N. Godwins (Esq) had during a meeting with the entire workforce at the Point Block in Port Harcourt last Tuesday said 2,113 persons qualified for the loan and that despite the economic recession in the country, the state government had graciously released N100 million monthly as the first tranche of a continuous revolving loan to civil servants, stressing that payment will be done through the issuance of cheques to the recipients.
In his goodwill message, the Chairman, Forum of Permanent Secretaries and Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, George Nweke thanked the Governor for the loan and urged beneficiaries to put the money into effective use.
In his vote of thanks, the Chairman, Administrative Officers Forum, Blessing Elijah said the gesture was unprecedented and unparalleled in the history of the service, adding that the loan was coming at a time when it was most needed.
It would be recalled that the state government had on 12th June, 2018 approved a revolving loan scheme for civil servants on Grade Levels 01-13.
FG Moves To Stop Influx Of Illegal Aliens
The Federal Government has promised to put measures in place to end the movement of illegal immigrants into the country to secure the country.
The government stated that the era where aliens easily enter the country with fake travel documents must stop.
The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, according to a statement on Saturday by the Director of Press of the Ministry, Afonja Ajibola, disclosed this when the Director, the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dasuki Arabi visited him.
The statement read, “The Minister assured he is working seriously on efficient ways at securing Nigeria borders; saying a situation where illegal aliens easily find their ways into the country often with fake travel documents has to be stopped. In his view, Nigeria cannot be secured if its borders are not secured”.
The Minister also said the Ministry was ready to partner with the BPSR in proffering effective solutions to the nation’s security challenges, especially in securing the nation’s borders.
“I am ready to actively collaborate with the Bureau of Public Service Reforms to find solutions to our security challenges,” he was quoted as saying.
ECOWAS Condemns Plot To Obstruct Peace In Sierra Leone
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has condemned the plot by some individuals to disturb peace in Sierra Leone.
The condemnation is contained in a statement issued by ECOWAS in Abuja, yesterday.
ECOWAS said, “The bloc has learnt, with utter disgust, a plot by certain individuals to aquire arms and disturb the peace and constitutional order in Sierra Leone.
“ECOWAS condemns this act and calls for the arrest and prosecution of everyone involved in the illegality.
“The bloc has always maintained its zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government.
“We want to reaffirm our commitment to supporting the government and the people of Sierra Leone’s quest to deepen democracy and good governance by consolidating peace and security so as to foster socio-economic development”.
Earlier, the Sierra Leonean Government had declared a 24-hour nationwide curfew in a proactive step to ensure that the peace is not tampered with.
Bad Roads Fuelling Insecurity In N’East -Govs
Worried by the security challenges confronting the region, governors of the North East have resolved to embark on more collaborative efforts among member states to come up with a security architecture design for the region.
The governors noted that bad federal roads are fuelling insecurity in the region and called on the Federal Ministry of Works to follow through with road contracts awarded in the region.
This is contained in a communique issued at the end of the 9th meeting of the forum, held at the banquet hall of the Adamawa State Government House in Yola last Saturday.
According to a statement signed by the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, the forum said there was a need for a robust platform for regional economic development and resolved to work as an entity in strengthening the human capacity and socio-economic development of its people.
The communique read in part, “Forum is continuously disturbed about the poor infrastructural base of the region. More concerned that the federal roads within and between the states in the region have been neglected.
“We call on the Federal Ministry of Works to follow through with road contracts awarded in the region. The poor road network is fuelling insecurity stalling development and making life more difficult for our people in the region.
“Forum notes that the bad federal roads within and between the states are major setbacks to the infrastructural development of the region.
“Forum notes the poor energy situation in the region. To mitigate the situation, Forum resolved to work with Shanghai Electric to construct a 60 MW Coal Power Power Plant in each state of the region.
“Forum decried the lack of modern rail projects in the region and called for repairs on the old gauge rail lines which no longer useful and sustainable technology. Forum calls for inclusion of the region into the Nigerian National Railway Transport Plan using the Modern Guage rail.”
On climate change and environmental degradation, the forum resolved to strengthen its collaboration with all initiatives such as the Great Green Wall and the Global Initiative of Carbon Credit financing.
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