The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Lagos state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has said that his robust experience in mainstream public service makes him well-positioned and most suitable to cater for the best interests of the civil servants in the state, when elected as the next Executive Governor. He said this today at an interactive session with Lagos civil servants, held at the Bero-Adeyemi Auditorium in Alausa.
“I am proud to stand before you as one of yours and to assure you that this project before us is basically about you. I come with a promise to employ my experience in this noble profession, to serve your best interests as civil servants”.
“This is a constituency I readily relate with, and with my vast know-how about the way things work here, I make bold to say that I am in the best position to cater for your interests, and thoughtfully admit your wishes and variant concerns”, assured Ambode.
As the interaction got underway, Ambode entertained questions from the clearly elated and eager civil servants, after which he took time to enlist his plans and programmes designed to better the lives and expertise of the ones he described as “the workers who actually put their hands on deck in the process of making government work”.
The questions bordered mainly around salary structure review, working standards, worker welfare, retirement benefits and some misgivings about bonuses and incentives. To all these, Mr. Ambode gave satiating, detailed and assured responses, a stance which confirmed that he truly understands their concerns by practical experience and not by mere imagination.
As touching the echoed salary challenge, Ambode addressed the group by saying that it is also in the best interest of any sincere government to ensure that the salaries of her workers get commensurate with the integrity of each job designation. He therefore promised to consolidate on the ongoing productive negotiations the present administration is having with the Joint Negotiation Committee (JNC) on behalf of civil servants.
He also cleared the air about his rumored singular role in the Leave bonuses situation by stating that, “no one can single-handedly make a decision as such. The movement from the harmonized salary structure to the consolidated one you have now, was informed by your very own calls to get a salary structure similar to the Federal model. The government back then in the year 2010 simply assuaged to your yearnings”.
“I have always maintained that governance is about the people, and this leave bonus situation helps me drive home that point. Now that most of you want a reversal, we’ll definitely sit down again and review it together in favour of your best interests”, he added.
Your leave bonuses have always been paid and will remain so.
Beyond the salary scales and leave bonuses, he also assured that his administration will work assiduously to institutionalize capacity building, training and re-training programs for civil servants, in a bid to make them the best adapted to the best civil service practices, processes and procedures.
“You are as competitive as what you make yourself. To this end, we are committed to bring skill-enhancing and mind-enriching capacity building workshops and training programs that will make you better individuals, who can actually thrive and remain active even after retirement; this is what our administration will offer you more than the salaries and bonuses”.
He encouraged them to use his own civil service success story as a spring of inspiration to become the best civil service the nation can boast of.
Ambode promised an increase in the number of incentives and performance-driven welfare packages for the workers, including loads of benefits, easier access to loans and scholarships, among others.
He debunked rumours of neglect and unfriendly policies, saying that such rumours are totally unfounded, as he is competent-ready to lead the Lagosian civil servants to greatness and productivity.
“There no such thing as neglect. I reckon that there’s nothing compared to a happy workforce, and being a God-fearing individual who is also a part of you, I know that if I don’t give you the best, God will ask me”, he said.
Complementarily, Ambode promised to hold interactive sessions with the civil servants on a quarterly basis, in order to constantly get feedback from them directly, and ensure maintenance of a working relationship.
As regards the incoming general election, he urged them to become his fellow canvassers for continuity of excellence in the state and for Change at the centre, noting that more of the good they’d all love see will come as a result of such move.
Ambode stressed, “This election is about your voting power, especially as a workforce. When you vote out this present incompetent government at the centre, you’d have succeeded in granting legitimacy and massive recognition to your voting power, such that, political office holders, myself inclusive, will know how removable we are when we represent non-performance”.
The interactive session ended on a quite light note as the APC gubernatorial candidate enjoined the civil servants to see the interaction as a MOU of sort, where he is bound to fulfill all he had promised as much as they are also bound to vote for him.
On behalf to the members, Comrade Akeem Kazeem of the Trade Union Congress, and Mr. Obafemi Oyelude fm the JNC, both appraised Ambode’s excellent disposition when it comes to engaging the people in productive talk, while appreciating his time with them. The members unanimously fanned support for his candidacy and favorited him as their incoming Governor, judging by the cheers and commendation given to the special Guest of the day.