Being a Keynote Address delivered by His Excellency Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, at the year 2020 Productivity and Merit Award Ceremony held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, on Thursday, August 19, 2021.
I remember back when I was in school when the end of the academic year comes, the brilliant students are always happy because they know it is their time to shine. Looking around this hall today, and seeing those who will be awarded, the bright smile on their faces reminds me of how people who have worked hard deserve to be rewarded.
Last year, I had promised that this merit award will become a yearly event. This Merit Award is just one of the many ways that our administration is using to boost the morale of civil and public servants to enable them to become high performers.
We all know the reputation that civil servants have in the country. Some people even say that all lazy people come to the civil/public service because they don’t have to do any work. But here in Oyo State, we are changing that narrative.
We know that people are always ready to put in their best when they have the right incentives. And so, we are providing the right incentives for you so that you can put in the work. For example, for the past two years, you have taken it for granted that your salaries would be paid on or before the 25th of every month. You also know that in December, you will get your 13th-month salary. By the grace of God, this is how it will continue until we complete our tenure in office.
Aside from this, we recently approved the distribution of promotion letters to all civil/public servants that qualify after we conducted promotion exercises. Have you received your letters?
During our two-year in office celebrations, we provided nine buses to convey you from the secretariat to your nearest bus stops, at the same time, we opened the Staff Clinic, Oyo State Secretariat.
We have taken these actions to show how much we care about your well-being. We know that the progress of this administration rests on you working hard and putting in your best. As we all know, politicians and political appointees come and go, but the civil/public servants remain. You are the ones who keep the records and ensure continuity.
So, as we host this Year 2020 Productivity and Merit Award Ceremony, let me again remind you of the need to be diligent in carrying out your responsibilities. You may be aware that we recently carried out a Staff Audit Verification and Payroll Validation Exercise for Oyo State Workers. Some ghost workers were uncovered, and we have taken recommended actions against them. We have also carried out some systematic retirements and over 300 persons were recommended for voluntary retirements.
Of course, these actions are not meant as a witch hunt. Rather, it is meant to clear your reputation and make service delivery to the good people of Oyo State even more efficient. You are called civil servants and public servants because your position is one of service.
Let me conclude by congratulating all the award recipients for today. And also thank the Head of Service, Alhaja Amidat Ololade Agboola, for nominating a committee of the competent management staff of the Oyo State Civil Service who screened and selected today’s awardees.
If you are not privileged to be awarded today, see it as a challenge to work harder. Next year could be your turn.
Thank you and God bless you.