Enugu State workers, on Tuesday, hailed Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the best leader they have ever related with in terms of welfare and cordial working relationship.
The workers comprising members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) proudly appreciated Governor Ugwuanyi for all his sincere efforts in reinvigorating the civil service and ensuring a productive workforce in Enugu State in spite of the state’s lean resources and the nation’s numerous challenges.
They spoke during the event marking this year’s Workers’ Day at the popular Michael Okpara Square, Enugu.
Enugu observed the Workers’ Day today, Tuesday.
At the event, the State Chairman of NLC, Comrade Barr. Fabian Nwigbo and his TUC counterpart, Comrade Benneth Asogwa told Governor Ugwuanyi that the Enugu State workers were delighted with all he had done for them since he assumed office in 2015, especially the governor’s labour-friendly disposition.
They reiterated that the workers will greatly miss Governor Ugwuanyi’s humility, kindness, vision, peaceful disposition and commitment to their welfare, praying that the incoming administration of Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah will toe the same line, and even do better than his administration.
They commended Governor Ugwuanyi for the payment of N30,000 new minimum wage with its consequential adjustment.
They disclosed that the seamless implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage with its consequential adjustment had positively distorted the long history of industrial dispute, intimidation and neglect that heralded the previous minimum wage implementation in the state.
The organised labour also 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.
Others included the 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.
The workers equally lauded Governor Ugwuanyi for the establishment of 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, among numerous others.
Harping on the importance of peaceful and harmonious working relationship, the state Chairman of TUC, Comrade Asogwa said: “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.”
Corroborating the TUC chairman’s statement, the State Chairman of NLC, Comrade Nwigbo, paid glowing tribute to Governor Ugwuanyi for being labour-friendly and committed to the workers’ welfare.
He added: “We most sincerely appreciate the employers of labour in Enugu State particularly the Government of Enugu State ably and humbly led by His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the most labour-friendly governor in Nigeria for ensuring that workers’ rights as enshrined in the laws are strictly complied with especially providing workers with decent work environment and wages.
“Flowing from the above, it is obvious that workers of Enugu State have never had it as rosy as it is under the present administration of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
“Your Excellency, we cannot thank you enough for your worker-friendly disposition which is manifestly translated into enormous benefits workers of Enugu State are enjoying.”
In what he highlighted as the last time he will attend the Workers’ Day commemoration in his capacity as the Governor of Enugu State, Governor Ugwuanyi saluted 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.
The governor stated 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.”
Governor Ugwuanyi, who ended his address with a heart full of gratitude, assured the workers that as he leaves office in a 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, promised that he will always wish the workers well, and prayed that they extend even more co-operation and support to the incoming administration of the Governor-elect, Dr. Mbah.
The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, the Head of Service, Mr. Ken Chukwuegbo, the 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 at the event.