Mr Segun Oni, Deputy National Chairman (South) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that the salary arrears syndrome across most states of the federation will soon be a history.
According to a statement signed by Mr Edegbe Odemwingie, APC Assistant Director, Publicity, Oni said this when a UK Member of Parliament for Edmonton, Kate Osamor, visited the APC national leadership on Wednesday in Abuja.
Oni said that the Federal Government was working hard to totally eliminate the problem, adding that the bulk of arrears owed workers in some states, had been paid through the bailout funds.
“We are doing something which people have not recognised as a cardinal signature of the progressives; we are trying to eradicate salary arrears.
“Past governments, particularly at the state levels owed salaries and this administration has been trying to help them (states) pay the arrears.
“Very soon, we are going to have a check on how much is left to be paid; the people that are owed are mostly the downtrodden and when they are owed, you compound the poverty equation.
“We are working towards ensuring that in no distant future, the arrears will be eliminated,” Oni was quoted as saying.
Furthermore, Oni said in the statement that the APC-led administration had initiated several pro-people initiatives, including the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme and N-Power scheme.
According to him, the programmes are meant to alleviate poverty and provide gainful economic opportunities for the masses.
He said that the government was open to ideas and best practices to develop the country, reduce poverty and productively engage its young population.
´´Our population is growing at a very fast rate; but opportunities are not growing; therefore we need help in terms of exchange of ideas and opportunities that will actively and productively engage our young population.”
He said that APC was actively working to ensure that marginalised groups, particularly women and youths were exposed to the rudiments of politics early.
He advocated for greater participation of women in politics as a way to increase their representation in government and party structures.
Osamor, who is of Nigerian decent, thanked the APC leadership for its support and promised to extend the party’s good wishes to other current UK MPs of Nigerian decent.
She listed the other Nigerian-born UK MPs as Chi Onwurah, Fiona Onasanya, Chuka Umunna, Helen Grant, Abimbola Afolami and Kemi Badenoch.
She said that her Labour Party was willing to share its experiences as well as work with APC.
Meanwhile, Mr Anthony Smith, the Chief Executive Officer, Westminister Foundation for Democracy, who accompanied Osama on the visit, urged political parties to be responsive to voters’ concerns before and after elections.
Smith noted that the UK and Nigerian political party system were similar as major parties were required to have a national spread and reach.
´´It is very important for our parties to respond to voters’ concerns not just in a few weeks before the election, but after the election till the next.
´´I think a programme that enables us to share experiences between parties is very important and we are very happy to be partners with you,” he said in the statement.
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