Taking a cue from the Kwara State government which on Monday reduced civil servants’ work days from five to three in response to hardship being experienced as a result of fuel subsidy removal, Edo State government on Tuesday announced a similar measure, directing workers to work three days a week.
The government also announced other measures to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal like creating more virtual classes for students and pupils, synergising with electricity providers to increase supply, as well as make available fibre optic connections to help people work remotely.
In a statement, Governor Godwin Obaseki empathised with the people, stating that the government was with them “in these very challenging times”.
The full statement reads:
“In the wake of fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government, fuel prices have increased astronomically leading to rise in prices of goods and services, and overall cost of living.
“The Edo State Government shares the pains of our people and wants to assure everyone that we are standing with them in these very challenging times.
“We want to reassure our people that we will do all within our powers as a sub-national government to reduce the pains and ameliorate the sufferings our people are currently facing in the wake of the current realities.
“As a proactive government, we have since taken the step to increase the minimum wage paid to workers in Edo State from the approved ₦30, 000 to ₦40, 000, the highest in the country today.
“We want to assure you that we will continue to pay this amount, while we hope to increase it even further if more allocation accrues to our state from the Federal Government in view of the expected savings occasioned by the removal of the fuel subsidy.
“We know the hardship that has been caused by this policy which has radically increased the cost of transportation, eating deep into the wages of workers in the State. Therefore, the Edo State Government is hereby reducing the number of work days that civil and public servants will have to commute to their workplaces from five days a week to three days a week.
“Similarly, for teachers and parents, their commuting to school will be reduced as government is working on deepening the EdoBEST@Home initiative to create more virtual classes, thereby reducing the cost of commuting on parents, teachers, and pupils. The Edo SUBEB will provide details on this initiative in the coming days.
“To lower the rising cost of energy on our people, we will continue to work with the electricity companies in the State to improve power supply to homes and businesses.
“Similarly, fiber optic connections are being made available to help our people work remotely, thereby reducing their cost of transportation.
“While government intensifies these efforts to alleviate the burden of the fuel price increase on the people during this very challenging period, we want to call on everyone to remain calm and go about their daily businesses lawfully”.
Leading the initiative on Monday, the Kwara State government had in a statement by Murtala Atoyebi, chief secretary to the governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazak explained that the decision to cut down on work days was as a result of the astronomical hike in transport fares.
The State Head of Service, Susan Oluwole, therefore directed all Heads of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to immediately work out a format indicating the alternating work days for each worker under them.
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