By Victor Ogunje
As part of the efforts to make Ekiti State safe for investment and safety in 2021, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, will launch a safety city project to tackle all forms of kidnapping, banditry, robbery and other social menaces in the state.
To bolster harmonious government-workers’ relationship, Fayemi said he would fulfill promises to recruit over 1,500 new employees into the teaching, healthcare and various cadres of the civil service, as well as paying all outstanding salaries, promotion and pension arrears due to active and retired civil servants.
The governor spoke in Ado Ekiti Friday in a statewide broadcast to Ekiti residents commemorating the celebration of the New Year.
Besides the establishment of a network, codenamed “Amotekun” to strengthen security, Fayemi said he has continued to support the police, military, DSS, civil defence, Federal Road Safety Corps, NDLEA and immigration with logistics and coordination to secure Ekiti.
“The new year will witness the launch of our safe city project, as well as other initiatives aimed at boosting security and safety in the state,” he said.
On ways to put smiles on the faces of Ekiti workers, he said the government has commenced negotiations on the implementation of consequential adjustment for officers from levels seven, which he stated had been stalled by the outbreak of the pandemic.
“Those negotiations resumed last month for eventual resolution. I once again, assure our esteemed workers and retirees that all the inherited salaries, pensions and gratuities are not bad debts. All the inherited arrears will be cleared one after the other as things improve for our dear State,” he said.
Fayemi said in government’s deliberate effort to bring government closer to the grassroots, “we revisited the issue of Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) that were created from the existing local government areas in the state, on Thursday June 26, 2014.
“The process of creating additional LCDAs is ongoing. The quest to create more LCDAs is not driven by political coloration, but for the socio-economic wellbeing of our people. I enjoin Ekiti-kete to work with the committee put in place for this purpose, for us to have a just and enduring outcome”.
He said the new year will also witness the commencement of the first phase of the Ado-Ekiti multi modal ring road project which has been awarded to Craneburg Construction Company to complement other road projects being executed across the three senatorial districts of the state.
Speaking on giant strides to uplift the infrastructural capacity of the state, Fayemi said: “I am happy to inform you all that despite the economic challenges of the year 2020, we are making remarkable progress with our Agro-Cargo Airport project and we are still on course for completion in 2022.
“I must commend the communities affected by the airport for their cooperation and Aare Afe Babalola, the Federal Ministry of Aviation, the Nigerian Air Force for their collaboration and support to date.
“Electricity remains a sore point in many communities in Ekiti State due to the less than satisfactory supply by BEDC. Many of our people are rightly unhappy about the bad electricity supply to the state as we are in government.
“We are working with the Transmission Company of Nigeria to improve the transmission capacity in the state by creating additional loop with the installation of 132-33kva substations in Ijesha-Isu and Ifaki.
“We are also working with the Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria on solar powered energy in various communities. Equally, the state has signed a contract for a 3 megawatt Independent Power Project which will supply power to all public institutions including the Secretariat, street lights, Teaching Hospital, the state University and Government House.”
Fayemi added that he appreciated the fact that the year 2021 is going to be a very busy and exciting year with political activities with because of local government elections and the process of creating LCDAs.
“The remaining half of my tenure is loaded with activities. Nevertheless, I assure you of my avowed commitment to complete and commission all the legacy projects we started, before the end of my tenure in October 2022.
“The year 2020 has gone but left behind some momentous lessons and deliberate efforts must be made to build on the visible progress we recorded, against all odds. Therefore, as a people, state and government we should approach the year 2021, with the determination to recover lost ground and restore lost hopes,” he said.