The Government and people of Ekiti State yesterday celebrated the 53rd Independence anniversary of Nigeria and the 17th anniversary of the creation of the State with assurances for more people –oriented programmes and projects in the quest to transform the state.
The Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, in a broadcast on Tuesday to mark the occasion promised to continue to do more for the people of the state in the face of financial constraints brought about by the shortfall in the resources accruing to the state from the Federation Account.
“This administration in responding to popular feedback would thus be concentrating more efforts on human empowerment while not neglecting our commitments in the area of infrastructural development”, the Governor said.
He revealed that with effect from this month, 5,000 more qualified elderly citizens of the state are to be included in his administration’s Social Security Scheme for the Aged, which qualifies them to receive the monthly N5,000 stipends, raising the figure of beneficiaries in the state to 25,000 elderly citizens.
Governor Fayemi also disclosed that another batch of 5,000 youths are to be engaged in the Ekiti Youth Volunteer Corps Scheme and are to receive N10,000 allowances monthly.
Teachers are also not left out in the packages rolled out by the Fayemi administration which has approved the implementation of outstanding promotions for teachers across the state and has commenced payment of the Teachers Peculiar Allowances.
The Governor also said he had approved the 6% increase in the salaries of pensioners in the state to take effect from January 2014, while also engaging 1,800 youth under the Peace Corps initiative being launched later in the month.
The Governor explained that he has approved six per cent increase in the salaries of pensioners in the state which is expected to take effect from January 2014.
He said, “It should be noted that all the foregoing are being done against the backdrop of severe financial constraints occasioned by the non-remittance of allocations due to the states from the Federation Account for the past three months.
“We would, however, continue to stretch ourselves through financial prudence in meeting the aspirations of our people.”
Ten inmates of the Ado-Ekiti Prisons also received pardon from Governor Fayemi to mark the independence and state creation landmarks.
Two of them, Olabode Abirifon and Julius Abirifon, who were sentenced to death by the State High Court, had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonments by the Governor.
They have been on the death row for upward of 16 years.
Eight others: Olusola Ojo, Alex Dasun (a Beninoise), Segun Olowoyo, Simon Okeme, Opeyemi Ogundele, Joseph Adafase, Taiwo Ibikunle and Kehinde Fagbemi who have been serving various prison terms were released unconditionally with effect from Tuesday (October 1).
The Governor noted that he was exercising the powers conferred on him by Section 212 of the 1999 Constitution and on recommendations of the State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy.
Dr. Fayemi who insisted that calls for national conference should be backed by sincerity of purpose, faulted recent calls for the Conference by some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) saying such calls should be viewed with suspicion, especially when such people have no respect for basic principles such as fiscal autonomy.
“It is therefore more important that the Federal Government utilizes the powers available under the Constitution to focus on priority areas and carry out necessary reforms particularly geared towards strengthening states’ fiscal autonomy.
“As we have argued, the burden of governance weighs more on the level of government closer to the people. It is thus imperative on the Federal Government to re-order the fiscal structure of the Nigerian federation immediately”.
On crime rate in the state, the Governor said: “I am pleased to announce that the State Executive Council has approved a Bill for the Administration of Criminal Justice. It is my expectation that when passed into law this legislation will provide a framework for the appropriate recognition of victims of crime as important stakeholders in our criminal justice system. In addition, I have directed the Ministry of Justice to urgently put in place administrative and policy framework for the treatment of victims of crime.
“Let there be no doubt however about the resolve of my administration to be tough on perpetrators of crime. Criminals should know that they will be prosecuted and if convicted will spend a substantial part of their time in prison. While my administration will continue to provide support to the Nigeria Police and Prisons Services within our limited resources, it is important that the Federal Government urgently considers the need for adequate funding of these agencies.” he said.
Last modified: October 1, 2013