It gives me great pleasure to be in your midst on this joyous occasion of the 2023 annual prayer meeting on the first working day. I join the Head of Service to welcome top government functionaries and invited men of God to this prayer meeting. Incidentally, this is the maiden edition of the programme for the new Head of Service. I also rejoice with all public servants in this State for having the grace and mercy to witness another year in good health. We are most grateful to God Almighty for His unceasing care. “For in Him we live, move and have our being. For we are also His offspring.”
My dear workers, the Year 2023 promises to be symbolic in all facets of our lives, particularly in our quest, as an administration, to improve values and dignity of the service. We are clear in our vision of a better tomorrow which the people of Ondo State will be proud of irrespective of religious and political affiliations. I am convinced that this year will be a better and eventful year, given the expectation that the judicious implementation of the 2023 Budget titled “Budget of Shared Prosperity” will bring succour to our people. It is a known fact that no administration can fly higher than the delivery capacity and capability of its bureaucracy. It is also true that, by walking in one accord with the bureaucracy, the political authority can surmount most of the hurdles in their way to achieving its developmental programmes, policies and projects and goals.
I am glad to hear your good testimonies on payment of salaries, prompt promotion, regular elevation, payment of inherited salary arrears, leave bonus, new Duty Tour Allowance, training and retraining, provision of working tools and enabling environment for the service to thrive, among others. Let me assure you that our administration will continue to do more and not shy away from its responsibility in these areas. On this note, I wish to thank all public servants in the State for their cooperation and I particularly appreciate the organised Labour for their understanding. Without the commitment of the workforce, our administration would not have recorded the modest feats achieved in our policy thrust. We shall, in thought and action, continue to give priority consideration to the well-being of the Public Service amidst competing demands from other segments of the State, in spite of the State’s lean resources.
Let me reiterate here that the time has come for public servants to, in the course of the year, keep evaluating their actions to see how genuinely committed they are on their duty posts to the course of making our State greater. I wish to enjoin all our workers to sustain the good working relationship with our administration in our quest for sustainable growth and development. More importantly, it is imperative for everyone to ensure accountability and transparency in government financial transactions to expand our revenue base and increase the quantum of fund available for the execution of government projects.
At this juncture, I want to assure you that we are resolute to improve the quality of lives of our people and deliver on our promises. We are guided by the REDEEMED agenda of our administration to continue to speedily address the infrastructural gap. In reaction to the dictates of time, our security architecture is being regularly reconfigured and rejigged to ensure that peace continually reign supreme across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State.
My dear workers, it is common knowledge that year 2023 is an election year. In February and March 2023 to be precise, our people in the State will join the rest of Nigerians to decide who will be their President and elected representatives at both national and State levels. At the polls, we must play by the rules while exercising our franchise. Let me reiterate for the umpteenth time that public servants are not expected to be involved in partisan politics. Absolute loyalty and commitment should be the watchword of the service.
Again, political discourse should be civil with decorum and in statutory manner. You will note that our administration has insulated the bureaucracy from partisan politics. Therefore, I implore you to do your job as required by the Rules and Regulations. I demand nothing more! Good enough, fund has been approved for the printing of substantial copies of your new regulatory books to enhance your knowledge and their appropriate application.
Finally, let me again, express heartfelt appreciation to all dignitaries, officiating ministers of God and all public servants here present. I am grateful to all residents and well-wishers of the Sunshine State for your show of love and steadfast belief in the capacity of our government to emplace a better life for the generality of our people. I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Thank you and God bless.
Being text of the speech by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON at the annual prayer meeting with public servants on the first working day of the new year held at the Governor’s Park, Governor’s Office, Alagbaka Akure, on Tuesday, 3rd January, 2023