Posted by Oseloka Obaze | 4 May 2013 | 4,585 times
It pleases me to say that comparatively, the cooperation between the Anambra State Government and Labour Unions here has been assessed as better than those prevalent in many other states.
Nonetheless, there are clear obligations on the part of government and on the part of Labour. Both sides must do its part, thus ensuring cooperation and sustaining the bond of performance between the Government and Labour. It is gratifying that our assembly today was made possible by the government’s release of N3 million for this event. It shows that this government is not anti-labour. Far from it!
I have listened attentively to the catalogue of issues, challenges and complaints tabled before our amiable Governor. Government is aware of most of them and is working diligently, sometimes behind the scene to address them. Excuse me if I do not to go into details and point-by-point reply to your demands. However, be assured that the views will be conveyed to His Excellency, Gov. Peter Obi faithfully.
Let me underline certain realities. The Anambra State Government (ANSG) is committed to frugal management of its lean resources, but without sacrificing its priority policies and unmet needs of the population. Addressing the multidimensional challenges we face, requires a studied and evolving process, for the responses to be concrete and sustainable. That has been our approach. Accordingly, the Anambra State Government is paying the prescribed minimum wage, and has made N70 million available for the recapitalisation of the Ndi Olu Bank. It is also common knowledge that our government pays salaries and pensions, when due.
Government is looking at lifting the employment embargo, and addressing the challenges in the civil service caused by natural attrition as well recent transfers of Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) staff and Anambra workers separated from the services of Abia State Government. These policy reviews are ongoing, but do take time and need to be done properly for effective and long lasting solutions. I can also confirm that the question of the staffing of the various State
Commissions will be resolved this month. The files are on His Excellency’s desk as I speak. We are also attracting more foreign investors as a means of tackling unemployment. In sum, this government remains alive to its obligations.
Let me end these brief representational remarks by reminding Labour of its role and obligations. Labour must represent discipline and fastidiousness. Labour must rise to its role of generating wealth and sustaining good work ethics and productivity. It must not cast itself in the mold of Oliver Twist, which asks for more and more without any discernible returns or commitment to proactive partnership with the government.
This being the last year of the Peter Obi Administration, I believe that having missed this event, the Governor will definitely use the opportunity of the Civil Service day to personally address some the concerns you have. Our Governor has very high regards for his workers; he understands the imperatives of collaborating with Labour, he means well, even when fiscal and bureaucratic constrains intrude. Let me use this opportunity to touch on something that affects us all.
On behalf of the Government, I invite our Labour Unions and all workers in Anambra to come out on May 22, 2013 and join as we bid farewell here at Ekwueme Square our illustrious son, Prof. Chinua Achebe. The details will be announced in due course. In closing, let me thank you all for being here. I wish you well and promise you that in the weeks ahead, you will witness a clear response from His Excellency, on some of the demands you have made.
I thank you for your support of this administration and its policies. Keep the flag flying so that Anambra can sustain its niche as the Light of the Nation.
•Being excerpts of a speech entitled “Government-Labour Relations Must Be Symbiotic” delivered by Hon. Oseloka Henry Obaze, Secretary to the Anambra State Government, during the May Day Celebration organised by the TUC and NLC Councils at the Ekwueme Square, Awka, on May 1. Obaze is seen here (middle) with Labour leaders during the event.
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