Posted by News Express | 20 August 2015 | 3,359 times
The Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Governor of Delta State, Mr. Charles Aniagwu has urged unemployed youths to take advantage of the state government empowerment programmes.
Aniagwu told the newly recruited but disengaged protesters from the state civil service by the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration in reaction to the protest and prayers session held by them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some persons were recruited into the state civil service in April 2014 by the former Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
The CPS said that the Okowa’s administration meant well for the people of the state and for those disengaged, adding that the government’s decision to disengage those recruited one month before his inauguration was in good faith.
He said that because government was aware that in suspending the appointment of the newly recruited persons would bring hardship to them and their family, government initiated other means of ameliorating their plight.
“It was obvious that the former administration was borrowing money to pay the state workers, which monthly wage bill was about N6 billion.
“There was no justification engaging additional workforce when there is no resources to pay them or their new vacancies to accommodate about 1000 new hands that are not likely to be evolved in a productive act.
“But the government of Okowa has also given this disengaged people a new opportunity in the youths empowerment programmes, which is in line with the government prosperity agenda.”
Okowa said that with the reality on ground, the state government might not re-engage them into the civil service because the state empowerment programmes also captured them.
The governor's aide said that he was sure that some of the persons affected by the unfortunate disengagement had already keyed into the empowerment programmes.
He implored the protesters to pray for things to improve and the revenue to rise to enable the government pay the over 60,000 workforce and have enough to build infrastructure to open up the state for more investors.
“They are asking God to touch his heart, and that means that God will give Okowa more wisdom to manage the lean resources, take more ingenuous ways to make the empowerment programmes impact more Deltans.
“What Okowa action is doing is not only to save those disengaged but to preserve the future of their own children because if the state government pays only the workers wage bill, there will be nothing left for the future.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the disengaged workers, Mr. Obus Regah, said that members had to engage in three days fasting and prayers which they had decided to come to the government to break the fast and also to pray.
He said that about 900 of them were recited into the various state ministries, departments and agencies in April 2014 and that in less than two weeks of the inauguration of Okowa, they were issued a letter suspending their appointment.
He said that his members had to resort to three days fasting when the committee they said was set to look into our case was not forthcoming, adding that they came to break the fast in government house.
According to him, the prayers are aimed at making God touch Okowa's heart to make him recall them.
“We have spoken with all the people that matter in government except the governor and all they told us is that a committee has been set up to look into the matter but up till now nothing has happened.
“So, we concluded that we have to go to God by embarking on three days fasting for God to touch Okowa's heart and the heart of everyone concerned to call us back to work.
“We pray that God will give the governor wisdom to reinstate us," he said.
Some of the protesters’ placards read: ‘God touch Okowa's heart to reinstate us’,’ ‘Governor Okowa's heart is in the hand of God,’ and ‘Oh God, we rely on you to tough our governor's heart.’ (NAN)
•Photo shows Gov. Okowa
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