Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria has increased theÂ salaries of civil servants in the state by twenty five percent.
Announcing the increase yesterday while presenting the 2011 budget of N445.18Â billion to members of the state House of Assembly, Governor Fashola told theÂ lawmakers that the state government has set up a State Commission to review wagesÂ and salaries as a solution to labour agitations arising from the Federal GovernmentÂ review of its own staff salaries.
P.M.NEWS investigations revealed that with the 25 percent increase, a Grade Level IÂ civil servant, the lowest hierarchy in the state civil service, will now earn aÂ minimum wage of N12,500 as against the previous N10,000.
Presenting the budget, Governor Fashola stated: â€œWe are proposing a minimum of 20Â percent and a maximum of 25 percent, the latter for essential services as wageÂ increase across board to be implemented upon approval of the budget.
â€œWe are conscious of and committed to the welfare of public servants but we remainÂ evenly committed to the overall sustainability of the economy of the State to ensureÂ that it is able to provide for all citizens whether in the public or private sector,Â by ensuring that our wage bills do not prevent government from funding itsÂ commitment to other social needs of the entire population.
â€œLet me say that as leaders, we have chosen to lead by example and this wageÂ increase has no impact or benefit for all political office holders,â€ he stated.
With the increase, a Level 6 officer will now earn N20, 000 instead of the formerÂ N16, 000; Level 7, N28,125 instead of the former N22,500; Level 8, N36,250 insteadÂ of the previous N29,000 while a Level 9 officer will earn N42,500 as against theÂ previous salary of N34, 000.
In the area of education, Fashola disclosed that the Lagos State University and theÂ other tertiary institutions in the State, would receive additional support in theÂ 2011 budget, especially in view of recent challenges with accreditation of someÂ courses.
He added that the schools rehabilitation programme of the government which includedÂ construction and furnishing of new classroom blocks, where required, would also getÂ significant budgetary allocations.
â€œIt is important, of course, to report as I have done in the past, that the variousÂ policies of government ranging from the schoolsâ€™ rehabilitation programme, provisionÂ of free textbooks, resuscitation of Voluntary Clubs, the Adopt-a-School programme,Â the training of teachers and Eko Project have continued to make the right impact andÂ yield results that are positive even if we are all anxious for a completeÂ turnaround.
â€œIt is in this context that I report another growth in number of our students whoÂ passed the WASSCE with a minimum of five credits, including English and MathematicsÂ at one sitting has increased to 21.11 percent. This is up from 18.41 percent inÂ 2009; 10.41 percent in 2008 and 7.58 percent in 2007,â€ he stated.
According to him, â€œwhile our students still need to be supported to overcome theirÂ weakness and ensure that they can combine Mathematics and English together in aÂ minimum of 5 credits at one sitting, I must report that the percentage pass inÂ English Language as a subject, increased from 41.25 percent in 2009 to 77.57 percentÂ in Year 2010, while the percentage pass for Mathematics increased from 22.48 percentÂ in 2009 to 75.57 percent in Year 2010.
â€œI am told that the impact of the free books and the improving condition of ourÂ schools are accountable for this. Perhaps, the most significant result of all isÂ that there was no incident of cancelled or withheld result in Lagos in 2010.â€
In the area of law and order, the governor said in order to strengthen the capacityÂ of the police to enforce law and order, government was proposing to establish newÂ Police Area Commands in the State during 2011.
â€œThe state government will provide the bulk of the infrastructure for the new areaÂ commands, if we must deepen the spread and operations efficiency of securityÂ apparatus and agencies in the State,â€ he added.