Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, has expressed his administration’s commitment to the welfare of workers despite the effects of COVID-19 on the state’s economy.
The governor gave the hint while addressing workers in Katsina on the occasion marking May Day celebration at the weekend.
He says that, “The choice of the theme for the celebration in this year, ‘COVID-19 pandemic, social and economic crises challenges for Jobs, social protection and People Welfare’, is apt and timely towards addressing socio-economic and political effect of the pandemic, nationally, globally and indeed narrowing the consequences to micro level of managing workers and their welfare.”
The governor who was represented by the State Head of Service, Idris Tune, says despite the negative impact of the pandemic on the national economy, Katsina State is able to sustain its obligations in providing services to people as well as meeting the demands of workers in the state.
He therefore highlighted some projects accrued to workers in the state to include: Owner-occupier housing scheme, where the government has identified 503 of the state houses to accommodate serving civil servants and those that retired received approval for the sale of the houses at subsidised and affordable rates.
Adding that the government is constructing low-cost houses under the state housing authority to reduce accommodation problems of workers, disclosing further that the government has also entered partnership with some private developers through Public Private Partnership (PPP), with a view to providing affordable houses to workers.
He noted that the government of Katsina State has sustained the training and re-training of staff both long term and short term as at April 2021, the total sum of N333,832,705.03 was expended for the training of 2,456 staff.
“Even after resumption’ from the lockdown in the year 2020, N79,300,000.00 was disbursed to 825 beneficiaries as refurbishing loan, cumulatively, the sum of N450,630,000.00 has been disbursed as refurbishing loan to 4,979 workers from 2017 to date.
“Medical assistance to civil servants in the state government has remained committed in assisting workers and their families for both local and foreign medical treatments”, he added
Governor Masari also pinpointed that the state government is also making efforts in sustaining payment of monthly pension to pensioners and clearing the backlog of gratuities.
“To this end, in the year 2020, 1116 retirees of July – December 2018 were screened by the standing committee and payment of the total sum of
N2,680,326,473.68 was approved to the beneficiaries in both the state and local government area.
“The total gratuity paid by the government from 2015 to date for both state and local government retirees is N28,036,125,298.06.”
He seeks the cooperation of all workers in the state to understand the financial situation in the country and the state, with a view to assist the government in diversifying its source of income.