Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has lauded workers in the state for their selfless service and focus to work, reassuring them of his administration’s support.
Ugwuanyi gave the commendation on Saturday during the 2021 Workers Day Celebration at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu.
The heme for the 2021 May Day celebration is: “COVID-19 Pandemic, Social and Economic Crises Challenges for Jobs, Social Protection and Peoples Welfare”.
He said: “On a day like this, May 1 of every year, we gladly celebrate Enugu state workers in commemoration of the International Workers Day.
“This day affords us the opportunity to reflect on the contributions of our workers on national productivity and nation-building.
“Over the years, our public servants have remained a critical success factor on our good governance in optimal service delivery.
“Our workers truly deserve every encouragement that we can afford and we reassure you of our care and support all the way”.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Labour and Productivity, Mr Uchechukwu Ogbonna, said that the ministry had “been diligently interfacing with labour unions in Enugu state.
“We have been interfacing with labour unions in Enugu state and public service in line with the government’s agenda.
“Agenda toward maintaining an atmosphere of industrial peace, industrial harmony and ensuring the unfettered cordial relationship between the Enugu state government and workers,” he said.
He promised that workers in the state would remain catalyst for industrial harmony under Ugwuanyi’s watch.
Ogbonna thanked the governor for creating a conducive environment for workers, which he said, was key to quality service delivery.
The commissioner highlighted some of Ugwuanyi’s welfare packages for workers to include:
“Approval of the 100 units of one-bedroom flat for workers of Enugu state at a discount rate of 54 per cent and prompt payment of salaries to workers.
“Payment of 13-month salary, payment of N30,000 minimum wage and its consequential adjustment of state public and civil servants health insurance for those on essential services.
“Hazard allowances for the servicemen of the state from N200 to N10,000 for each staff monthly, payment of COVID-19 allowance for health workers in the state.
“Construction of two ultra-modern Secretariat buildings for the two organized labour unions in the state (NLC and TUC) respectively, which is ongoing among others,” he said.
The commissioner urged workers to be more dedicated to their duties.
“Together, we will build a better Enugu state not only for ourselves but also for the children yet unborn,” the commissioner concluded.
Also, the Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Enugu State Council, Mr Virginus Nwobodo, described Ugwuanyi as a workers’ friendly governor.
Nwobodo said that workers in the state acknowledged all the governor’s gesture and wished to ask for more just like the little Oliver Twist did.
“It is our request you direct the immediate payment of minimum wage to Local Government Workers, Primary School Teachers and Parastatals in Enugu state.
“That you approve the absorption of workers in the parastatals into relevant ministries.
“The payment of gratuity to retirees in the state and the prompt payment of pension to the pensioners.
“To consider government’s position on the payment of annual leave allowance to workers and commence same as soon a possible,” Nwobodo said.
Mr Emmanuel Asogwa, Chairman, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Enugu State Council, said that the 2021 celebration was a special one.
According to him, the theme is timely when considered in the light of the global impact of coronavirus pandemic on the world economy and social well being of the people.
Asogwa commended Ugwuanyi for the laudable projects and programmes aimed at improving the lives of workers and good people of Enugu state.