By Ngozi Ikpeama
Organised Labour in Enugu State has commended the state Governor,Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his being labour- friendly, appealing to him to approve and fully implement thirty thousand naira minimum wage and consequential adjustments for local government workers and primary school teachers in the state.
The State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Fabian Nwigbo, made the appeal at the celebration of this year’s Workers’ Day held at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu.
Nwigbo also appealed for an increase in the salaries of workers to reflect the realities of the current economic climate in the country.
He equally appealed to the government to reconsider its position on the payment of the annual leave allowance to workers and commence same as soon as possible.
On his part, the State Chairman, Trade Union Congress, TUC, Comrade Benneth Asogwa, called for the reinstatement of the suspended release of one hundred million naira for the gradual payment of gratuity to the retirees, as well as harmonization of monthly pensions.
He also appealed for the completion of CONHESS implementation to ensure a harmonized salary chart and the implementation of the correct hazard allowance for the state health workers, and completion of the Trade Union Congress and the Nigeria Labour Congress state Secretariats.
Asogwa applauded the governor for the provision of subsidised 100 units of houses for 100 workers at Elim Estate to mark his 100 days in office; regular and prompt payment of workers’ salaries notwithstanding the high level wage bill occasioned by the new minimum wage; promotion of workers as and when due; extension of the service years of secondary and primary school teachers to 40 and 65 years of service or age respectively; rural development trajectory through the provision of access roads and other related infrastructure to better the lives of people in the rural communities; and payment of new minimum wage to parastatals and central payment of same
He commended the Governor for establishing the State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS), Igbo-Eno, Enugu State; simultaneous construction of ultra-modern state secretariats for NLC and TUC; recruitment of youths into the state civil service; payment of CONMES, and 60% CONHESS to Enugu State Health Workers; restoration of the previously revoked 213 plots of land belonging to ESUT Teaching Hospital Health Workers; the extension of N30,000 minimum wage payment to the state parastatals and local government workers.
“The most important in the achievements of this government is the enthronement of peace and tolerance that cuts across political, social and religious divide.
“While we have other numerous unmentioned achievements to the credit of this administration, I crave the indulgence of Your Excellency to say that there is no better reward for good works than more work.”
Addressing the workers, Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, said his administration would continue to prioritise the welfare of workers and protect the interest of labour unions in the state, acknowledging their support to his administration.
He thanked the workers for their hard work, resilience, patience and understanding, stressing that they have been a critical success factor in the delivery of the policies and programmes of his administration.
Governor Ugwuanyi said that since he assumed office, “Enugu State has been famed for its industrial peace with his administration being acclaimed as the most labour-friendly, time and time again.
“What has not been said is that the humble, committed, dedicated, honest and hardworking workers of Enugu State made it possible” he said.
Highlighting some key achievements of his administration, Governor Ugwuanyi hinted that it “consistently paid workers emoluments and timeously promoted our workers while providing capacity improvement trainings.
“We implemented the new minimum wage with its consequential adjustment and continually elevated service delivery standards through our Service Improvement Bureau. Indeed, it has been a mutually rewarding experience.”
He assured the workers of his love as he leaves office in few weeks. “Our common heritage as Ndi Enugu and your support over the years compel the unchanging sentiments of my love and friendship.”
The governor commended the leaders of the organised labour for their exemplary leadership and urged them to extend the co-operation given to his administration to the incoming administration of the Governor-elect, Dr. Mbah.
Pix- NUJ Chairman, Comrade Sam Udekwe
In an interview, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ), Enugu State Council, Comrade Sam Udekwe ,commended Enugu workers , for their commitment to duty. He urged them to continue to be dedicated to their duties ,appealing to them to be patient with the government as their various requests for a better welfare package will hopefully be addressed.
Dignities at the event were the Speaker, State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, Head of Service, Ken Chukwuegbo, Commissioner for Labour and Productivity, Hon. Uchechukwu Ogbonna, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Mrs. Chinwe Anibeze, the Chairman, Joint Negotiating Council, Enugu State Chapter, Comrade Dr. Ezekiel Omeh, the President, National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Enugu State Chapter, Comrade Kenneth Ugwueze, were among the dignitaries that graced the occasion.
Highlight of the event was March pass by NLC and TUC affiliate unions