Enugu State Governor and Governor-elect, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has reiterated his administration’s commitment to the welfare of workers of the state, stressing that the determination “has become even more fortified”.
Speaking at this year’s Workers Day celebration held at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, Gov. Ugwuanyi, who promised to ensure that Enugu State remains a model for peace and good governance, stated that his administration will continue to pay salaries and other emoluments as and when due.
The governor added that the state government “will continue to provide more conducive work conditions and to do all that is necessary to ensure that industrial harmony continues to prevail in Enugu State”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi, who applauded the jubilant workers for their show of understanding, love, patience, goodwill and cooperation as committed allies in the quest to make the state a better place for all residents, also thanked them for their prayers, solidarity and overwhelming support during the last general elections, saying: “We simply can’t thank you enough”.
On the burning issue of the new national minimum wage, the governor assured the workers that “despite the daunting economic challenges, we will, in concert with the relevant agencies and departments of government, ensure that these issues are comprehensively and satisfactorily addressed”.
While wishing all workers a happy celebration, Gov. Ugwuanyi urged them to remain true to their obligations and approach their duties with greater zeal and commitment “so that collectively, we can achieve the higher levels of efficiency and productivity that will fast-track the socio-economic development of our dear state”.
According to him, “I assure you that working together and with God firmly on our side, we will surely bring to fruition, the Enugu State of our dreams”.
Earlier in their separate addresses, the State Chairmen of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Igbokwe Chukwuma Igbokwe and Comrade Virginus Nwobodo respectively, commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for his outstanding commitment to the welfare of the workers of the state and the existing harmonious working relationship between the organized labour and the state government as well as the peace, security and the cordial rapport between the executive and legislature, calling on other state governors to emulate him.
While the TUC Chairman stated that the workers were celebrating Gov. Ugwuanyi’s “prudent management of the state resources which reflects in the provision of democracy dividends”, his counterpart in NLC appreciated the governor “for his commitment and doggedness in ensuring that workers and pensioners’ welfare is given priority in Enugu State”.
They, therefore, lauded the governor for “regular payment of salaries to workers and teachers; regular payment of pensions to the pensioners in the state; offsetting 54% of the cost of the building to the beneficiaries of Elim Estate; ensuring that Local Government workers and pensioners are no more neglected, as over 12 months backlog of salaries and 6 years gratuity have been cleared and Local Government Pension Board empowered; payment of the 13th month salary to civil servants and extending same to parastatal workers in the service delivery points”.
Other achievements, according to the labour leaders, which gave them hope, include, “gradual payment of gratuity to state pensioners with N100 million being set aside monthly for batch payment, since May 2018; payment of CONHESS to JOHESU members in the state; ensuring that workers’ promotion and leave allowances are released as and when due; approving the biometric capturing of those who were not captured during the exercise; Biometric capture for 80 staff of ESWAMA absorbed into the civil service; grants to community leaders for the development of our rural areas; massive infrastructural development across the state, approval for the construction of road at the Enugu State Workers Estate, Ibagwa Nike, and improved security in the state”.
In his address, the Commissioner for Labour and Productivity, Hon. Charles Ogbo Asogwa, who maintained that the ministry has “a very solid synergy with the organized labour in Enugu State”, disclosed that approval has been granted by the governor for the payment of 10% of accumulated arrears of salaries to staff of Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS), Enugu Sports Council and ENADEP.
One of the major highlights of the event was march-past by members of various labour associations in the state including pensioners.