The Niger State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Mua'zu Hamidu Jantabo, has assured local government workers of better days.
The commissioner, who was at Labour House to meet with the executives of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) on a familiarisation visit Thursday in Minna, said all pending issues on salaries, allowances, and promotions of local government workers will be resolved.
He said his visit was to reinforce the existing relationship and understanding that organised labour and the ministry have, emphasising his willingness to change the narrative and improve the working conditions of local government workers.
The commissioner said "We will implement the domestic allowance for local government workers, hopefully by next month, and we will continue to solve all pending issues bothering local government workers".
"On grade level 17, we shall open engagement with the local government service commission to see that this is implemented. We are determined to make a big impact, and I would like to personally count on your support ", he said.
Hamidu Jantabo said the present administration will suspend overdraft, which, according to him, was responsible for many problems local governments in the state were facing.
He said the governor has given marching orders that taking overdrafts by local government areas must be stopped, saying this was necessary to prevent insolvency and encourage local governments to look inward and generate the funds they need to carry out their activities.
The NLC Chairman, Comrade Abdulkareem Idrees Lafene, appreciated the commissioner's visit and assured his visitor that organised labour will support the new administration in achieving its lofty purpose.
He said that although there were pending issues pertaining to local government workers, he was confident that the commissioner was aware of the matter and would work towards addressing them.
He said the visit was a demonstration that the commissioner meant business by visiting them instead of the other way around. He said labour will partner with the ministry to help it achieve its mandate.
The commissioner, during the familiarisation tour, visited the Niger State Environmental Protection Agency (NISEPA) and the Local Government Audit.
He pledged to work towards addressing challenges facing agencies partnering with the ministry, revealing that his appointment as commissioner was to frontally confront some of the challenges with a view to addressing them.
Niger State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Binta Mamman, has said that the present administration, under the leadership of Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago, will not allow the state-owned print media outfit, Newsline Newspaper, to die.
Hon. Binta made this disclosure when she paid a familiarisation visit to the organisation on Thursday.
She observed that political will is all that is required to make a system functional and that Governor Umaru Bago has the political will to move all sectors in the state forward.
Hon. Binta described the dilapidated nature of the organisation as pathetic and an eyesore but assured the members of staff that the state government, through her ministry, will do its best to ensure that the organisation doesn't die.
"Insha Allahu, I am assuring you that it will not be business as usual. All that is needed to make this place work again is the political will, and the present government has it," the commissioner declared.
She equally observed that there were some efforts by the past administrations to renovate the dilapidated structures but that the works were done shabbily, adding that any work to be carried out by the present administration in the organization will be a quality job.
Hon. Binta Mamman told the staff of Newsline Newspaper that the visit was in line with the directive of Governor Umaru Bago, who charged the new cabinet members to go round all parastatals under their ministry to get first-hand information on how to improve their functionality.
She called on the governor to, as a matter of urgency, pay attention to the sorry state of the only state-owned newspaper house to regain its lost glory, assuring the staff of the organisation that the present administration in the state was not known for empty promises and that with their support, the organisation would be resuscitated.
"I want to call on His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Umaru Mohammed Bago, to demonstrate the political will he is known for on Newsline Newspaper. This place really needs intervention, and I am sure His Excellency will be more than willing to make it work again. Newsline is a place we cannot fold our hands and allow it to die," said the Commissioner.
The Commissioner also applauded the management and staff of Newsline Newspaper for their resilience and commitment towards keeping the organisation's publication visible despite the non conduciveness of the working environment, urging them to sustain the pace.
Earlier, the Acting Managing Director of Newsline Newspaper, Aisha Abubakar, told the commissioner that the organisation was bedevilled by a number of challenges, with the major ones being lack of funding, shortage of staff, and TSA, among others.
The Commissioner and her entourage were taken round the various sections of the organisation by the management team of the organisation, led by its Acting Managing Director.
The Information Commissioner was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Hajiya Aishatu Nuhu Yarwa; the Director of Information, Mrs. Hassana Joan Kpetu; and other top-ranking staff of the ministry.