The gubernatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Kwara State, Alhaji Hakeem Oladimeji Lawal has promised to look into the discrepancies and disparity in the salary structure of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) teachers as part of his reforms in the education and local government administration of his government.
The SUBEB teachers work in the Local Government Areas, while teachers under the TESCOM are on the pay roll of the State government.
Lawal who was speaking in Osi, Ekiti Local Government Area on Wednesday as part of the ongoing interactive sessions with stakeholders and community leaders across the State ahead of his political campaign, noted that it was not proper for workers on the same level in the same sector, doing the same job to be receiving different salary. “It is improper and discriminatory and we shall address it to ensure justice and fairness,” he said
He also promised that the Council reforms will grant some level of financial autonomy to the Local Government administrations and foster a mutually beneficial relationship between the Councils and the State government.
According to him, “the emasculation of the Local Government administration has stifled development at the grassroots. Apart from conducting the LGA election early, we will release their money to them and equally give them some level of independence to utilize their resource for development of the people.”
On education and human capital development, he stated that he will provide a solution for Kwarans on the basis of education. “It means we must revive our Technical Schools and Colleges. As of today, our people can hardly compete when it comes to technical know-how. If you look at the Building Industry for instance, many of the professionals competing there are from places like Republic of Benin, Togo Ghana, etc.
According to him, “my focus is to change the policy on Education, with emphasis on Science and Technology to drive our youths to become global citizens.
On the Agriculture, Lawal maintained that the “State boasts of many Agriculture Belts, adding that “for instance, we had Rice and Sugar Belts in Patigi, Cotton Belt in Baruten and Cocoa Belt in Irepodun Ekiti, Oke Ero in Kwara South.
On the basis of this, we also had forestry in Jebba and Erinle. This was the reason why we had Sugar Company in Bacita, Paper Mill in Jebba and a Paper Converter Company in Erinle.”
He equally promised the sector will be modernized to maximize the full potentials of the sector for greater returns to the farmer in order to make farming attractive to both the old and the young. We will encourage the farmers to form co-operatives and form Enterprises to work on large farms. Government he said, will also form marketing Company like in the days of Late Sadauna in Northern Nigeria, to maximize profit to our farmers.
The meeting saw him engaging many groups like the League of Imams, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, the Artisans Congress of Nigeria, youth groups, market women and traditional rulers.
“Our discussion today is a covenant between us. The two parties must do their part. When you vote for us, it becomes a debt for us to do our part too. I can assure you that we will deploy Kwara resources for Kwarans and strive to restore the glory of the State,” he said.