By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday said his administration would initiate a process of an upward review of pension of retired Permanent Secretaries in the State, just as he expressed the readiness of the State Government to commence massive training of civil servants starting from 2017.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja when he received the report of the 2016 Summit of Association of Lagos State Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries, said the decision to review the pension was borne out of the need to reward appropriately those who have served the State meritoriously for several years.
While alluding to the years of experience of the retired Permanent Secretaries, the Governor said his administration would tap into the wealth of experience of the members of the association and use it to help the civil service and also develop the State.
He said: “We will collaborate together more vigorously and tap into your wealth of knowledge. We want to start this with our massive plan starting from next year for capacity building for the largest civil service in Nigeria, the Lagos Civil service. We will also use it as part of our own development plan and imbibe this knowledge into the existing public service.”
Speaking on the review of pension of members of the association, Governor Ambode said the struggle for dignity of labour for civil servants had been on for a while, but that it was time for it to be actualized.
According to the Governor, “We are going to look at the pension of Permanent Secretaries positively because the whole essence is that if people retire at that level, and those coming behind us, there must be dignity in labour and then there must be some sense of fulfillment.
“That is why we must reward glowingly those who have served the State meritoriously. When we go out and see all the beautiful things in Lagos, we must realize that some people actually built those things and this is the time to celebrate and reward them,” he said.
He said over the past fifty years, Lagos had distinguished itself as the only State that has continually progressed in a manner that anybody would be proud of, adding that the progress was largely attributable to civil servants both retired and the present ones, who he described as the best in the country.
“What people don’t understand is that there is a culture of excellence in the civil service; there is a culture of resilience; there is a culture of capacity building which cannot be seen in the textbooks.
“There is also a culture of tenacity in which you have all that it takes to bring out your competences, your capacities and characters. That is what this association personifies and today, whatever it is that we have done in terms of public sector reforms is never enough because the whole essence of governance is to give back to the people the real quality service delivery that the civil service stands for,” he said.
Besides, Governor Ambode said it was a thing of pride that a member of the association is now the Governor of the State, which is a also a pride to the civil service, adding that all necessary support would be given to the association to further contribute to the development of the State.
Earlier, leader of the delegation and first Vice President of the association, Alhaji Mohammed Ajibola Olagbeyi commended Governor Ambode for his various developmental initiatives in the State, and support for the association.
While reeling out some of the recommendations in the report of the 2016 Summit of the association, Olagbeyi said the group was satisfied with the utilization of the Security Trust Fund, while it was recommended that Bi-annual security summit should be held at the Local Government level.
He said the association recommended the Inspectorate Department at Ministry of Local Government to ensure proper monitoring of Local Government to achieve targets, as well as the re-establishment of the Teaching Service Commission.
The association further recommended the reintroduction of primary health care activities and establishment of blood banks in all hospitals; strengthening of intermodal transport system, and review and harmonization of all environmental laws.