Jubilant workers of Enugu State, on the platform of the organized labour, have commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his administration’s laudable projects and programmes aimed at improving their living standard and that of the entire people of the state.
The workers who spoke, through the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Virginus Nwobodo and his Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) counterpart, Comrade Benneth Asogwa, during the occasion of this year’s May Day celebration, held at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, appreciated Gov. Ugwuanyi, who was present at the annual event, for his unequalled resilience in the approval and payment of the new N30,000 minimum wage and its consequential adjustment to the state workers.
They also appreciated the governor for the sustenance of payment of salaries on or before 23rd of every month, other welfare packages, as well as numerous development projects across the state, in spite of the state’s lean resources and “even when the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic was severe”.
In his speech, NLC State Chairman, Comrade Nwobodo, disclosed that “it is crystal clear that workers of Enugu State have never had it so good since the present democracy, as it is since the inception of the present administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi”.
Describing Ugwuanyi as “the most labour-friendly governor in Nigeria”, Comrade Nwobodo thanked the governor, on behalf of the workers, for “regular and prompt payment of workers’ salaries, pensions and other allowances notwithstanding the high level of wage bill occasioned by the new minimum wage”.
On his part, the Chairman of TUC in Enugu State, Comrade Asogwa, said that Gov. Ugwuanyi, through the peaceful implementation of the new N30,000 minimum wage and its consequential adjustment “has broken the long history of industrial unrest, intimidation and neglect that heralded the previous minimum wage implementation in the state”.
Comrade Asogwa also commended the governor for regular payment of the 13th month salary bonus to state workers from 2015 (except for 2020 pandemic year), safety of lives and property, and the peaceful co-existence of Enugu State people, irrespective of their political, social or religious affiliations.
The labour leader equally lauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for the ongoing simultaneous construction of two ultra-modern secretariat buildings for the state chapters of the NLC and TUC, by his administration, stressing that “this further portrays the present government as an all inclusive one that embraces every group and individuals as partners in governance”.
Pointing out that “His Excellency has written his name in gold on the history of labour movement in Enugu State and posterity will never play down on the legacy of your kindness and magnanimity to the workers”, Comrade Asogwa went further to commend the governor for “massive road construction, especially in the rural communities; transformation of the state-owned health facilities, particularly the building of a world class infectious disease control center in the former Colliery Hospital Enugu, and unparalleled environmental cleanliness in the major cities of Enugu State.
The labour leader added that “the recruitment of youths for the cleaning exercise and traffic control has also provided and is still providing a huge employment opportunity for the young ones”.
Speaking further, the NLC Chairman, Comrade Nwobodo, stressed that the workers are grateful to Gov. Ugwuanyi for the “constitution of new Board for the Enugu State Water Corporation and the ongoing recruitment of workers by the corporation to add new life to the establishment and ensure youth engagement into meaningful activities; ongoing promotion exercise for workers who are due for promotion; ongoing construction of the first of its kind flyover at the ever-busy T-junction Abakpa Nike, Enugu; and the health care service delivery to the aged population of Enugu State”, among others.
“Your Excellency, workers of Enugu State are not only happy with your labour-friendly disposition, we celebrate your prudency in the management of the meager resource accruals to Enugu State. The workers are also invited to ensure that they reciprocate the government’s kind gestures by being committed to duties and always showing the right attitude to work”, he said.
Addressing the visibly elated workers, Gov. Ugwuanyi extended his warm felicitations, wishing them “happy ‘Workers’ Day’ from the Government and good people of Enugu State”.
The governor noted that the state’s public servants have, over the years, “remained a critical success factor in our good governance and optimal service delivery”, adding that “they have operationalized our policies in government and weathered the storms of fluctuating economic conditions”.
He said that the state in particular is blessed with a well-motivated, committed and robust workforce with outstanding pragmatic disposition to the ever-changing demands of the Public Service.
Stressing that the workers have demonstrated legendary patience, resilience and unequivocal commitment to the service delivery goals of his administration, Gov. Ugwuanyi revealed that “a day like this, is therefore, an occasion to say thank you to the great Workers of Enugu State: the organized labour comprising the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC)”.
He said, “I must necessarily commend the leadership of these Labour Unions in the State for their selfless and focused leadership which has engendered the famed industrial peace in Enugu State.
“The peace we have is priceless and underlies our accomplishments in governance.
“Our administration has consistently paid workers emoluments on the 23rd day of every month. We have timeously promoted our workers and have sustained capacity improvement trainings for them.
“We have implemented the new minimum wage with its consequential adjustment and continually elevated service delivery standards through our Service Improvement Bureau. Our workers are truly deserving of every encouragement that we can afford.
“I dare say, that you are our most valued resource and we reassure you of our care and support all the way. Finally, I wish you a very memorable “Workers Day” celebration”.
One of the occasion’s climaxes was a March past by members of the various workers’ unions in the state.
The event was attended by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Uche Ugwu, the State Head of Service, Ken Chukwuegbo; the Commissioner for Labour and Productivity, Hon. Uchechukwu Ogbonna; his Environment counterpart, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, the Chairman of Enugu East Local Government Area, Hon. Alex Ugwu, the State acting Accountant General, Sir Remigius Odo, the Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwatu, and the Permanent Secretary, Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB), Favour Ugwuanyi, among others.