2024 May Day:Gov Mbah assures better life for Enugu workers

Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mbah has assured Enugu state workers of an enhanced welfare,appealing to the organised labour to be a little patient as his administration was doing everything possible to make life a lot better for workers in the State.

He gave the assurance in his address during the 2024 Workers Day celebration held on Wednesday,May 1, at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu.

Governor  Mbah, who was  represented by the Deputy Governor, Ifeanyi Ossai, thanked the workers for their support promising to look into their remaining demands.  

Pix- Deputy Gov Ossai (1st Left)

He said, “we know how hard it is for everyone now. But we appeal to our workers to be patient with us because we are doing everything we can, within the means available to government, to  make life a lot better for workers in Enugu State.

“That is why we are trying to create wealth. That is why we are aggressive in our drive for foreign and local investment. That is why we are trying to create jobs that pay better for our people.

“Again, when we talk about the smart schools, what we are trying to do is to build people for today and for the future; kids that will start from age three to master sciences and robotics; and kids that will be able, in the next eight to ten years, begin to write codes that can change the world. And do not forget that the smart schools are free and compulsory.

Pix- Deputy Gov Ossai

“What we are also trying to do is to invest in our road network and our public transport system to reduce the pressure workers face in fueling their cars. We are also building quality public healthcare that will be affordable and they have to be such that both the rich and the poor will be very confident to patronise,” he said.

Pix- NLC chairman,Comrade Fabian Nwigbo

Governor Mbah renewed his commitment to the welfare of the people and workers, restating his resolve to go beyond the immediate palliatives such as wage awards to create wealth, functional systems and institutions that drastically reduce the burdens that currently drain workers’ income.

Earlier in their separate speeches centred on the theme of the event,” People First”,  the organized labour leaders, commended Dr. Peter Mbah for his achievements in bettering the wellbeing of the people and workers of the state, describing him as a “promise keeper” and “the most worker-friendly governor in Nigeria.”

The workers also commended the Governor for his many policies, programmes, and projects, which they said were turning the state around in record time.

Pix- TUC chairman, Comrade Ben Asogwa

In his speech, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Fabian Nwigbo,said, “We cannot thank Your Excellency enough for your worker-friendly dispositions and policies, which are manifestly translated into enormous benefits, which the people of Enugu State, especially workers, are enjoying since the inception of your administration.

“We can only mention this few for purposes of emphasis: massive water projects ongoing in Enugu State to ensure quality drinkable water for the people is worthy of note. The proposal and effort to grow the economy of Enugu State from $.4.4bn to $30bn with the attendant economic and social benefits to the people is notable.

“The clearing of pension arrears and regular payment of same to state pensioners is a welcome development.

Pix- NUJ chairman,Comrade Sam Udekwe

“We cannot forget so soon the payment of N25,000 wage award to state workers and secondary school teachers as palliatives, payment of N10,000 wage award to local government workers and primary school teachers, and prompt payment of worker salaries.

“Promotion of workers as and when due, building of smart schools in the 260 political wards of Enugu State to enhance the education of our children at no costs are typical instances of putting the people first.

“The ongoing road construction and rehabilitation in almost the entire state is absolutely commendable. The proposed New Enugu City where work is ongoing with the gains of decongesting the already congested Enugu city is also noteworthy.

Pix- Some members of NUJ

“Importantly, the outstanding improvement in security of lives and property, especially the defeat of the non-state actors that destroyed business activities on Mondays in Enugu in the name of sit-at-home is a major feat.”

The workers, however, requested the Mbah administration to ensure the commencement of payment of the arrears of gratuity immediately after the verification of the beneficiaries; payment of the arrears of pension to the state parastatals retirees, primary school retirees, and local government retirees; payment of arrears of inherited annual leave allowance as soon as practicable, training and retaining of workers to enhance their productivity;  and assistance towards the completion of the new labour secretariat.

Pix- NUJ members at the match past

Nwigbo enjoined workers in the state to reciprocate the governor’s workers-friendliness through high productivity and discipline.  

Speaking, the chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Comrade Ben Asogwa, appealed to the state Government to harmonize pensions and payment of gratuity  to retirees at both state and Local Government levels ,implementation of Consolidated Health Salary Structure ( CONHESS) for the Health Professionals and  workers in the State Health system, regularization  of the appointment of some public servants who  were recruited in the year 2013 by the Coal City Transport Services, Enugu,  but were  later in 2017 deployed  to work as staff of differentbstate MDAs,  review of the termination of appointment of dome staff og Enugu state College of Education Technical, completion of TUC and NLC state Secretariat buildings.

” In expectation  to the new minimum wage, workers are optimistic that Enugu state shall  be among the first states to judiciously implement whatever is the outcome  of the negotiation. All eyes are on the new minimum wage as we maintain our unwavering  faith in the administration of His Excellency,  Dr.Peter Mbah ,” he said.

Pix- Senior staff Association members

Pix- Deputy Gov Ossai (2nd Left)

Asogwa reaffirmed workers’ support and determination to work towards actualizing the Governor’s vision  for the people of Enugu state .

Pix- Ossai 2nd Left, flanked by labour leaders

Pix- Staff of Orthopedic Hospital matching

Highlight of the event was March past by various trade/ labour Unions including the Nigeria Union of Journalists,Enugu state council led by Comrade Sam Udekwe.

Author- Maureen Ikpeama

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