Massive turnout as Mbah meets civil servants, assures better welfare package, security

Civil servants in Enugu State on Monday turned out enmasse at a meeting with the state governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, at the State Secretariat, Enugu, just as the governor assured them of better welfare packages, safety of lives and property, and speedy infrastructural development for the wellbeing of the citizens. 

The Governor  also assured the workers of government’s resolve to enhance their standard of living from low income earners to middle class income earners.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Professor Chidiebere Onyia, Governor Mbah reiterated state government’s resolve to make workers more professional and productive  in discharging their duties through training in modern administrative system. 

He said the state government had already hit the ground running by addressing dearth of infrastructure, fixing roads in strategic locations, clearing the streets of waste and working on how to bring water to every home.

Governor Mbah disclosed that the state was already engaging with development agencies such as the AFREXIM Bank, World Bank, and investors from Austria, Qatar, among others, in order to attract development and lift the state economy from $4.4 billion to $30 billion. 

He solicited workers’ cooperation to enable the administration achieve its set vision and mission, enjoining them to be responsive and display positive attitude to the reform in the service as “it would no longer be business as usual.

“We want to work with you to make our state great again. We will hold you accountable and we ask you to also hold us accountable.

“The Governor has directed that power be restored to the secretariat for efficiency. This will reduce the health hazards and environmental pollution posed by electricity generators. 

“We cannot achieve all that this government has set out to do without you and without giving you the enabling environment to work. So, we are already talking with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC)  to ascertain the problems, the debts and what it’ll take to give us power in our respective MDAs,” he said.

While frowning at the level of plundering going on in the internally generated revenue (IGR) sector, the Governor regretted that a few individuals were diverting money meant for the welfare of workers to private pockets, assuring that the administration was already putting up mechanisms that would plug leakages in the sector through technology. 

Speaking earlier, the Head of Service,  Ken Chukwuegbo, commended the Governor for starting on the right footing through his friendly gesture to workers in the state, adding that the meeting would spur civil servants to embrace the collective responsibility of transforming the state.

In their respective speeches, the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission,  Robinson Odo; Chairman of Permanent Secretaries, Dr. Ben Ezema, Enugu State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Fabian Nwigbo; Enugu State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Comrade Bennett Asogwa; and Chairman, Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Comrade Ezekiel Onah, commended the governor for being labour-friendly in his approach and engagement. 

According to them, workers were prepared to support government in its effort to digitalize the public service.

The members of the organised labour said they would give anything within their reach to ensure that the lofty policies initiated by the government were actualised, calling on the state government to help them with transportation palliative and other reliefs in the face of the recent removal of fuel subsidy, which they said, had occasioned  hardships for the workers.

There was an impressive compliance with the government’s ban on Mondays sit-at-home as a good number of banks, filling stations, markets, and shopping malls opened for business.

At the New Haven area of Enugu, Pinnacle filling station was dispensing fuel to motorists from early hours of the morning, while Roban Stores opened to customers at about midmorning.

Several banks on Ogui Road  including Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and Access Bank were opened. Fidelity Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank on Rangers Avenue were also opened to customers. 

Several banks on Okpara Avenue part of the Enugu State capital, including the two Access Bank branches on the major street were also opened, but with customers.

At Ogbete Main Market, the entrance gates were wide open, but there were skeletal activities inside, while roadside traders were making sales along the access roads. A detachment of heavily armed troops was stationed at the roundabout to provide security at the market. 

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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