Edo: GOV OBASEKI EARMARK N12.8BN FOR PENSION, GRATUITIES IN 2021, CCETC-OSSIOMO IPP POWERS EDO SECRETARIAT COMPLEX, HIGH COURT WITH 24-HOUR ELECTRICITY

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said his administration will expend N12.8 billion in 2021 for payment of pension and gratuities.

The governor, in a statement, reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the welfare of workers and pensioners in the state.

Obaseki noted that as part of the commitment to the welfare of workers, his government will in 2021 commit N6.1 billion to inject requisite skill into the state’s civil service, bestowing workers with tools and skills that stand them out, make for a better work-life balance.

According to him, “To make Edo great again, we need to focus on our people, who are our most cherished asset. Though we have embarked on far-reaching reforms to retool the civil service for efficiency and productivity in the last four years, the progress we have seen has buoyed us to pursue even more systemic reforms.

“In this regard, we would be expending N12.8 billion in 2021 for payment of pension and gratuities. We will also be committing N6.1 billion to inject requisite skill into the state’s civil service, bestowing workers with tools and skills that stand them out, make for a better work-life balance and ensure efficient service.

The Obaseki-led state government had in 2020 expended over N4.3 billion in clearing the backlog of outstanding pension arrears owed about 3,128 pensioners in the state.

The state government also spent N25, 047,472,632.77 in the monthly pension payment of 13,081 pensioners from November 2016 to May 2020.

With the setting aside of N200 million monthly, the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration has been able to defray arrears of pensions dating back to 1996 up to December 2018 in furtherance of its commitment to the welfare of pensioners.

Meanwhile, barely a month after lighting up the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, the 55MW CCETC-Ossiomo Independent Power Plant (IPP) has commenced provision of 24-hour power supply to the Edo State Secretariat and the new wing of the State High Court, on Sapele Road, Benin City, the state capital.

In a statement, the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., said the lighting up of the public assets is part of the overall strategy of the state government to provide stable electricity to run government so as to assure efficiency and drive productivity.

According to him, public assets that have been connected to Ossiomo IPP include the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, the Edo State Secretariat Complex, the new wing of the State High Court while those that are to follow include the new wing of the Government House, Stella Obasanjo Hospital and other state-run hospitals, among others.

He noted that aside the public buildings, a number of private individuals have also plugged into the power plant and are enjoying 24-hour electricity that is priced below the going rate of competitors in the market.

He added, “A key feature of having the CCETC-Ossiomo IPP in Edo State is to drive industrialization. So, we encourage businesses to come in and set up shops in the state and tap the benefit of running their factories for 24 hours, so they can boost productivity and reduce downtimes caused by erratic power supply.

“In Edo, particularly along the Sapele Road corridor, industries have the opportunity of enjoying 24-hour electricity that is affordable and a catalyst for business expansion. It is the perfect place to site any business that is power-intensive.”

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