Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has advised Ekiti Governor-Elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to ensure prompt payment of staff salaries and address illegal mining in the state.
Mustapha gave the advice while speaking with newsmen after a closed-door meeting with Fayemi on Thursday in Abuja.
The SGF urged Fayemi to utilise his wealth of experience as the former Minister of Mines and Steel Development and lay a solid foundation for legal mining activities.
He expressed confidence in the governor-elect, stating that Ekiti State would have a new lease of life under Fayemi’s leadership.
“Ekiti is predominantly a civil servant state of highly enlightened and educated community; one of the areas the people of Ekiti had a rough deal was the payment of salaries to civil servants.
“And that would be his first area of priority because he needs to empower the people so that they can have money in their pockets, pay rents, do their businesses and the economy will grow.
“The state of Ekiti has a lot of mining activities; right now illegal miners have taken over the place.
“I believe with his experience having served as Minister of Mines and Steel Development, illegal mining would be curbed.
Also speaking, Fayemi said that the purpose of his visit to the SGF was to solicit his support in moving the state forward.
He said that the key priority of his government was to clear the backlog of salaries, ensuring that salaries get to people as at when due.
Fayemi pledged to revive the social investment programmes that he initiated in his first tenure as governor such as free education, free health and social benefit for the elderly, among others.
“The state had benefitted from bailout funds and all of this assistance from the Federal Government has not trickled down to the primary beneficiaries of this assistance.
“If you owe a civil servant one month salary, you know the kind of pain you will cause the family not to talk of 10 months.
“I have had the benefit of serving the nation as a former minister; I know where all the opportunities are and it will be irresponsible of me not to build on it and boost the economy of the state.’’
He added that his government would not tolerate any form of corruption from the outgoing government, stating that perpetrators would face the full weight of the law.
He said that his government was also going to establish a transition Act that would clearly stipulate the obligations and responsibilities of an outgoing government and an incoming one, to ensure a seamless change in government.
“You cannot be an outgoing government and refuse to talk to the incoming government; it is irresponsible, unacceptable and should be condemned and this should go beyond personalities.
“When I take over office, I am going to implore the House of Assembly to put in place the Transition Act that clearly stipulates the obligations and responsibilities of an outgoing government and an incoming government.
“It is the duty and responsibility of both sides to ensure that government changes seamlessly,’’ he said.