Osun State governor, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, has promised to begin implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) this month.
Speaking at this year edition of Workers’ Day Celebration in Osogbo City Stadium, the governor said the implementation will facilitate accessible and beneficial healthcare to the people.
According to him, the government will begin to release its counterpart funding by the end of May.
He commended the workers for being supportive to the policies, actions and programmes of his administration by being committed, dedicated and patriotic.
The Governor spoke on Wednesday at the 2019 Workers’ Day Celebration, the first since the inception of his administration, at the Osogbo City Stadium.
Oyetola was represented by Deputy Governor Benedict Alabi, who was supported by other top government functionaries including Secretary to the State Government, Pince Wole Oyebamiji; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Charles Akinola and Head of Service Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade.
Chief Judge Justice Adepele Ojo represented by the Chief Registrar, Mr Lawrence Arojo, and Speaker Osun House of Assembly; Hon. Najeem Salam, was represented by Chairman House Committee on Labour matters, Hon. Abiodun Awolola.
The Nigeria Labour Congress Chairman in Osun State, Jacob Adekomi, his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Adebowale Adekola; the state Chairman, Joint Negotiation Council, Bayo Adejumo, and other labour leaders were also at the ceremony.
The Governor noted that the workers in the state had displayed competence and pulled their weight as the genuine engine room of the government.
Oyetola said: “For these and more, I commend and celebrate the workers for a display of unparalleled commitment, industry and patriotism that are in tandem with the 21st Century competitive world.
“The conduct and character of workers have further given vent to the reputation of the state as one of the most peaceful states in the nation.”
Governor Oyetola pledged his administration’s commitment to improved welfare for all categories of workers in the state.
He said his administration had been working assiduously to ensure equitable distribution of resources and services to achieve sustainable and competitive development.
He said: “My Administration is people and worker oriented, indeed, people and workers are at the centre of all we do.
“It is the resolve of this administration to give improved welfare to workers from time to time, the little we have been able to provide during this period of economic crunch is proof that we shall sustain the tempo as our plans bear fruits and the fortune of the state continues to look up.
“In the health sector, we are revitalizing nine General Hospitals and 332 health centres, one per ward, to ensure quality and adequate healthcare.
“The component of this intervention includes rehabilitation of the buildings, provision of relevant drugs and equipment as well as training and re-training of staff.
“You will all recall that during the presentation of the Budget 2019 speech to the House of Assembly last December, I promised the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as a way of delivering adequate healthcare for all. We shall commence the implementation this month.
“Government will start contributing its counterpart funds while also taking care of the vulnerable in the State. I urge the leadership of Labour to urgently play its own part so that, together, we shall achieve the objective of delivering quality and adequate healthcare to our people.
“This year’s May Day is a toast to courage, patriotism, understanding, creativity and support in honour of our dear solution-seeking workers.
“I would like to appreciate the leadership of workers’ Unions across the State for their tremendous guidance and direction, which have stood our dear State out as a Land of Peace and a State of the Virtuous.”
Chairman, Osun NLC, Comrade Adekomi, lauded the state government for prioritising the welfare of its workers.
Adekomi hailed Governor Oyetola for sustaining the full payment of salaries and pensions to all categories of active and passive workers since assumption of office.
He appealed to the state government not to relent in its effort at building a virile, wealthy and healthy workforce that will be a pride to all.
He said: “We appreciate the effort of the present administration in continuous payment of full salary to all and sundry in the state civil service.
“We shall always be grateful to our governor having listening ears to our yearning as we look forward for a crisis free tenure.”