BENIN CITY – It is a new dawn for workers in Edo State as the Governor Godwin Obaseki has announced the immediate commencement of the state’s health insurance scheme, Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) for local council workers and payment of the new minimum wage from the first day of the New Year.
In his New Year message, Governor Obaseki reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the welfare of workers, assuring that the state government will not relent on its efforts at infrastructural renewal, industrialisation, and social development programmes, which we are being undertaken across the state.
According to Obaseki, “As a government, our workers welfare is priority. That is why payment of salaries and pensions is non-negotiable. Our goal is to have the best motivated and trained public servants in Nigeria. Consequently, as I promised last year, Edo State will implement the new minimum wage with effect from January 1, 2020.
“Workers in the state public service will attest to the benefits and promise of the Contributory Pension Scheme, which we implemented from January 1st, 2017. In order to place the local government workers at par with workers in the state service, with effect from today, all local government workers will be enrolled under the Contributory Pension Scheme.”
He added, “I am pleased to announce that beginning from today, January 1, 2020, all civil servants in the state would be enrolled in the social health insurance scheme, which guarantees efficient and affordable healthcare.
The scheme, which is also open to everyone else, has already begun capturing people in other sectors, from artisans and market women to other operators of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the state. A commission has been established and funding has been provided through the Basic Health Care Provision Fund from the Federal Government, which we have complemented at the state level.”
The governor maintained that his administration in the New Year will consolidate on its reforms and policies aimed at improving access to quality healthcare, creating opportunities for businesses to thrive, providing more jobs and investing in infrastructure.
“Even though we have achieved successes in many of our policy areas, we still have a long way to go. From our experience so far, we are convinced that although the challenges are daunting, as a people and government, we can significantly change our circumstances and place Edo State and indeed our country where they should be in Africa.
“My dear citizens and residents of Edo State, as you are aware, our focus and emphasis in the last three years have been to improve your living conditions and make you more productive. We are improving the educational system and emphasizing technical education, improving access to quality healthcare, creating opportunities for businesses to thrive, providing more jobs and investing in infrastructure,” he noted.
Governor Obaseki continued, “I want to assure you, fellow citizens, that we will not relent on our efforts at infrastructural renewal, industrialisation, and social development programmes, which we are currently undertaking across the entire state. We are committed to fixing our roads, rebuilding schools, facilitating expansion of existing businesses and ensuring a vibrant, boisterous state that we will all be proud to be associated with.
“As electricity is critical to attain our goals, we are exploring all options available to us as a government to make electricity available to our citizens. This is why we supported the 55MW CCTEC-Ossiomo Power Plant which should be commissioned this year. Some of the electricity will be purchased directly to power street lights, government buildings and industrial clusters.”