Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has approved new Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in primary and secondary schools in Ondo State.
The Governor spoke on Tuesday while playing host to the leadership of Organised Labour in the state.
The Labour unions led by the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Oluwole Sunday-Adeleye paid a “Thank You” visit to the Governor in his office on Tuesday.
The State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Sunday Adeleye Oluwole had earlier during the visit pleaded with Governor Akeredolu to approve the new retirement age for teachers in the state.
Adeleye said the federal government and some state governments had started implementing the Act that gives Teachers in Nigeria shall compulsorily retire on attainment of 65years of age or 40 years of pensionable service, whichever is earlier.
Responding, Governor Akeredolu approved the labour demand and directed the State Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele to work out details of the new policy immediately.
In an interview, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Comrade Victor Amoko expressed appreciation to the Governor for the timely approval.
Amoko said, “we teachers in Ondo State are very happy, it is a good news for the new year. Mr Governor is a man of his words, this is a huge boost for us.
“The policy when implemented, it will reduce braindrain in the education sector and enhance quality of education in the state. We pray God to continue to be with Mr Governor, we appreciate him sincerely,” Amoko said.
On local government issues, Akeredolu, SAN, CON expressed concern over the inability of the Local Government to pay its workforce.
The Governor decried the ugly situation, stressing that the Local Government is in dire need of intervention.
Akeredolu explained:”What is happening in the Local Government is a source of concern. At a time they were ahead of the State Government in payment of salaries. They even started the payment of salaries in percentage.
“For us at the State level, we were able to overtake them because few money came in and I said these monies have to be used for workers’ salaries. Not that we have stopped working. We are still working.”
The Governor, who emphasised that he has not touched Local Government money since he assumed office in 2017, disclosed that the Local Government has been functioning independently.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Oluwole Sunday-Adeleye said the organised Labour has come to thank the Governor .
He said, “You paid three salaries within ten days. October, leave bonus and November salaries. And luckily, my joy is that leave bonus is not taxed and we don’t put mortgage on it. We don’t use leave bonus as a collateral.
“Mr Governor sir, if we would not be asking for too much, you would agree with me that we have about five services in Ondo state that the Head of Service superintends over. We have the Civil Service, TESCOM (Teachers in Secondary Schools), Local Government Service, SUBEB, Judicial Service and Assembly Service, which to some extents, is still part of Civil Service as at now.
“As at today, only few will understand that our source of salary is different. People believe salary is salary. It is a big request to help us see into the local government arrears. They are the closest to the grassroots,” he said.