Contrary to speculations that the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, shored up salaries of the state workers for political gains in view of the forthcoming general elections, in which Bola Ahmed Tinubu is expected to feature prominently, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, has come out to refute such insinuations.
Recall that the Governor had recently announced an increase in the salaries of the state workers, a move that has elicited diverse reactions from Nigerians.
But Omotoso, during an interactive session with reporters, weekend, noted that such insinuations are baseless especially when the state, governed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) since the return of civil rule in the country, has been setting the pace for others to follow.
He backed his argument, saying irrespective of the percentage of the increment, anyone putting more money in people’s pocket is doing them a whole lot of good.
Omotoso also noted that the governor’s guesture is just a way of appreciating the services workers are providing, despite the fact that things appear difficult, they are still carrying on and are putting smiles on the faces of Lagosians who are coming to government offices.
He reiterated, “no matter how low or high the percentage may be, I think the symbolism is that at this particular time, Mr Governor feels that workers deserve a raise and he has pronounced it.
“If you listen to him and comprehend it very well, he said he has instructed the Office Head of Service, Establishment, State Treasury Office to come together to look at these and see what the numbers are and see how we can go; but that workers are expected to get a pay rise is a forgone conclusion.”
“At the moment, the whole world is hailing him for doing that but if people are now saying it is for political reasons, let so many people in position of authority also do so for political reason and raise salaries,” he stated.
The Commissioner added that apart from the salary increment, many projects are currently waiting for commissioning in the state.
He disclosed that there are over 30 schools ready for commissioning. “We also have housing projects to be commissioned before the end of the year and jetties are also included”.
Speaking to reporters further, “We are building the infrastructure for the Blue Line Rail system that will take passengers from Marina to Mile 2.
“The Redline that will convey passengers from Oyingbo to Agabado. Both of them will be ready at the end of this year”.
He said the trains for the Red Line had arrived the port, adding that it shows that rail project under construction is an alternative that we are talking about and it’s a linkage among all models of transportation.
His words, “If you check the records, you will see that more people are now using our waterways because they have seen that it’s safe and faster and we now have more routes and we are also building, more Water Jetties, in Badagry, Ikorodu and other divisions of the state.”