[FEATURED] Kwara: Salary And Matters Arising - 9japarrot


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Wednesday 25 August 2021

[FEATURED] Kwara: Salary And Matters Arising

By Babatunde Opoola

I was numbed with shock when a friend told me, prompt payment of salary, is no big deal and should not be an issue to be celebrated by a government.

I did not want to join in the rhetorics because he is a staff of the Federal Government, and certainly does not know where the shoe pinches.

For me, the big deal is about Governor Abdulrazaq's vision.

However, as a journalist, I have learned that there are always three sides to a case, the two sides and the truth.  When both sides have stated their cases, the truth is somewhere in between and we may never know it.

The question is this. Is it a big deal when government pays salaries promptly? No elected leader in a society like ours needs one month to show that he knows what to do with an electoral mandate. If within the period, the person has not shown that he is capable of solving already established problems then, he perhaps, is undeserving of the mandate.

This has been the case with Abdulrazaq. Kwara before then was owing backlog of salaries and pensions. Parastatals were regarded as second class civil servants. Since assumption of office, signs of change have emerged with salaries being paid by 25th of every month, while signs of life could be seen in the parastatals.

This is a government that is changing the narrative and demystifying governance, hence the change cannot be sustained when workers do not receive adequate salaries on time, because “a hungry worker is not only angry but vulnerable to corruption and underhand tactics," there is a link between economic growth and wage payment

The greatest assets of states are their employees, governors can only demand for discipline and improved productivity from their employees if their workforce are well motivated. 

The issues of half, one third and a quarter payment of monthly salary have become history in Kwara. So, why can't we celebrate performance.

Nothing, including declining oil revenue could justify delayed or non-payment of workers’ salaries. It is worthy of note that the covid-19 pandemic did not affect prompt payment of salaries in Kwara state.

Agreed that payments of salaries and pension are legitimate entitlements and mark of corporate responsibility of any employer, responsible governors like Abdulrazaq reorder their resources in such a way that labour is seen as a critical factor of development before anything else.

This a state where many workers have died due to non-payment of salaries, when morality entails that whoever employs must pay the working man or woman as and when due.

Babatunde Opoola is a member of the Board of KWPPC, publishers of The Herald Newspapers.

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