Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria has increased the  salaries of civil servants in the state by twenty five percent.

Gov Babatunde Raji Fashola

Announcing the increase yesterday while presenting the 2011 budget of N445.18  billion to members of the state House of Assembly, Governor Fashola told the  lawmakers that the state government has set up a State Commission to review wages  and salaries as a solution to labour agitations arising from the Federal Government  review of its own staff salaries.

P.M.NEWS investigations revealed that with the 25 percent increase, a Grade Level I  civil servant, the lowest hierarchy in the state civil service, will now earn a  minimum wage of N12,500 as against the previous N10,000.

Presenting the budget, Governor Fashola stated: “We are proposing a minimum of 20  percent and a maximum of 25 percent, the latter for essential services as wage  increase across board to be implemented upon approval of the budget.

“We are conscious of and committed to the welfare of public servants but we remain  evenly committed to the overall sustainability of the economy of the State to ensure  that it is able to provide for all citizens whether in the public or private sector,  by ensuring that our wage bills do not prevent government from funding its  commitment to other social needs of the entire population.

“Let me say that as leaders, we have chosen to lead by example and this wage  increase has no impact or benefit for all political office holders,” he stated.

With the increase, a Level 6 officer will now earn N20, 000 instead of the former  N16, 000; Level 7, N28,125 instead of the former N22,500; Level 8, N36,250 instead  of the previous N29,000 while a Level 9 officer will earn N42,500 as against the  previous salary of N34, 000.

In the area of education, Fashola disclosed that the Lagos State University and the  other tertiary institutions in the State, would receive additional support in the  2011 budget, especially in view of recent challenges with accreditation of some  courses.

He added that the schools rehabilitation programme of the government which included  construction and furnishing of new classroom blocks, where required, would also get  significant budgetary allocations.

“It is important, of course, to report as I have done in the past, that the various  policies of government ranging from the schools’ rehabilitation programme, provision  of free textbooks, resuscitation of Voluntary Clubs, the Adopt-a-School programme,  the training of teachers and Eko Project have continued to make the right impact and  yield results that are positive even if we are all anxious for a complete  turnaround.

“It is in this context that I report another growth in number of our students who  passed the WASSCE with a minimum of five credits, including English and Mathematics  at one sitting has increased to 21.11 percent. This is up from 18.41 percent in  2009; 10.41 percent in 2008 and 7.58 percent in 2007,” he stated.

According to him, “while our students still need to be supported to overcome their  weakness and ensure that they can combine Mathematics and English together in a  minimum of 5 credits at one sitting, I must report that the percentage pass in  English Language as a subject, increased from 41.25 percent in 2009 to 77.57 percent  in Year 2010, while the percentage pass for Mathematics increased from 22.48 percent  in 2009 to 75.57 percent in Year 2010.

“I am told that the impact of the free books and the improving condition of our  schools are accountable for this. Perhaps, the most significant result of all is  that there was no incident of cancelled or withheld result in Lagos in 2010.”

In the area of law and order, the governor said in order to strengthen the capacity  of the police to enforce law and order, government was proposing to establish new  Police Area Commands in the State during 2011.

“The state government will provide the bulk of the infrastructure for the new area  commands, if we must deepen the spread and operations efficiency of security  apparatus and agencies in the State,” he added.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga

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