Gbenga Omotoso, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, has refuted the negative insinuations in some quarters that the recent increment of workers’ salaries by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is nothing but a mere political gimmick to win the forthcoming general elections.
While disclosing this during an interactive session with journalists at the weekend in Lagos, Omotoso noted that such insinuations are baseless because the state, governed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) since the return of civil rule in the country, has been setting the pace for others to follow.
He argued that no matter the percentage of the increment, anyone putting more money in people’s pockets is doing them a whole lot of good.
According to the commissioner, “The governor is saying that we appreciate the services you are providing and even though things are so hard, you are still carrying on and you are putting smiles on the faces of Lagosians who are coming to government offices.
“No matter how low or high the percentage may be, I think the symbolism is that at this particular time, Mr Governor feels that workers deserve a raise, and he has pronounced it.
“And if you listen to him very well, he said he has instructed the Office Head of Service, Establishment, State Treasury Office to come together to look at the these and see what the numbers are and see how we can go; but that workers are now going to get a pay rise is a forgone conclusion.
“I think the whole world is hailing him for doing that but if people are now saying it is for political reasons, let so many people in a position of authority also do so for political reasons and raise salary.”
Omotoso added that apart from the salary increment, many projects are currently waiting for commissioning in the state.
“We have over 30 schools for us to commission. We also have housing projects to be commissioned before the end of the year and jetties are also included,” the Commissioner noted.
Omotoso added: “We are building the infrastructure for the Blue Line Rail system that will take passengers from Marina to Mile 2.
“We also have the Redline that will convey passengers from Oyingbo to Agabado. Both of them will be ready at the end of this year.
“A few days ago, we saw the trains for the Red Line arrive at the port. That shows that the rail project that we are working on is an alternative that we are talking about and it’s a linkage among all models of transportation.
“If you check the records, you will see that more people are now using our waterways because they have seen that it’s safe and faster and we now have more routes and we are also building, more Water Jetties, in Badagry, Ikorodu and other divisions of the state.”