Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 2 May 2017 | 1,304 times
The Workers Day celebration in Anambra State on Monday turned out to be a praise singing session for Governor Willie Obiano as the state workforce under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) endorsed him for a second term in office.
The workers said their gesture was in appreciation of his administration’s improved welfare package for the state workforce.
The workers also used the occasion to confer on Obiano, the best worker-friendly Governor the state has ever had.
The motion to confer the award on the governor was moved by the state TUC Chairman, Comrade Benson Chibuike and seconded by the vice chairman of NLC, Comrade I.G. Okafor.
According to Chibuike, “A typical Anambra worker is not a pretender. We always say our minds. We have carefully graded all the Governors that ruled the state from 1999 to date to arrive at our decision that Obiano is the best worker-friendly Governor.
“One of the Governors came; two others came and saw, while Obiano came, saw and conquered. The Governor has done so much for the workers and we believe that he will do much more and that is why we have decided to endorse him for a second tenure.”
Earlier in his speech, the NLC Chairman, Jerry Nnubia, said that the Governor had shown a lot of goodwill and favourable disposition towards the welfare of workers since the inception of his administration, saying that salaries, pensions and leave allowances were regularly paid as at when due.
He noted that the Governor’s regular payment of salary has earned him the nick name, “The alert man” because workers receive the alert of their salaries on or before the end of every month.
According to Nnubia, “His Excellency’s kind disposition and goodwill towards workers are equally manifested in his yearly Christmas largesse of a bag of rice to every worker in the state.
“The provision of shuttle buses by the Governor that ply strategic routes at a highly subsidised fare has helped in reducing the transportation problem of many workers.
“In appreciation of all the goodwill and in expectation of what he will still do for them, the leadership of organised labour and the entire workers have decided to bestow on him an award as the ‘Best Labour Friendly Governor of Anambra State’.”
Nnubia prayed to God to continue to strengthen the Governor so as to enable him do more for the betterment of the state, saying that the reward for good work is more work.
He, however, stressed that in view of the untold hardship the workers were passing through, as a result of the economic downturn, there was need for a state of emergency to be declared for the upward review of the salaries of workers in Anambra State.
Addressing the workers, Governor Obiano noted that it was only his administration that increased salaries for workers in Nigeria in 2015 at a time the economy began to relapse into recession.
He said: “We have ensured that salaries and pensions are paid on time ever since then. We ensured that December salaries were not only paid before Christmas, but that you also went home with a token of goodwill from my administration as a Christmas gift.
“I wish to restate my earlier promise that I will increase your salaries once I see a significant growth in my Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); once we are able to push it to N2.3 billion per month. So, all hands must be on deck to achieve this target and create new economic elbowroom for ourselves and our families.”
He hailed the workers for coping with the harsh challenges caused by the current recession saying, “I salute your resilience in the midst of a contracting economy.
“I admire your belief in the brightness of our dream as a people of uncommon courage. I assure you that your faith in my administration is not misplaced.
“I assure you that we are building a new state that we can all be proud of. I have always said that our dream is far too bright to be eclipsed by the dark clouds of economic recession. I have always believed that we know the true worth of a people when they are pushed against the wall”.
The Governor said that despite the pervasive economic slump, his administration has decided to respond with a comprehensive Economic Stimulus Package which he added has been largely praised as revolutionary and humane.
He added: “That is also why in spite of the gloom and doom of recession, my team and I decided to raise the bar in our approach to the welfare of the workers of Anambra State.”
Obiano also used the occasion to announce that following the recommendation of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy headed by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Anali Chude, he had granted pardon to 13 prisoners in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 212 of the Constitution.
The prisoners granted amnesty by the Governor include Victor Kalu, Jospeh Obi, Daniel Victor, Dagore Abuduulahi, and Mathias Umeozokwele. Others were Livinus Ekwe, ijeoma Ike, Obinna Okonkwo, Esonwanne Henry Rotachi, Onyebuchi Okafor, Victor Ohatu, Onuegbu Makuachukwu, and Chinemem Mmadueke.
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