May Day: Enugu Gov begs workers, says be patient with us

Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State has appealed to workers in the state for patience, saying he remained committed in doing everything needed to make their condition better.

Speaking at the 2024 Workers Day Celebration held at Okpara Square in Enugu on Wednesday with the theme: “People First” Mbah said his administration would stop at nothing until it achieved workers’ welfare and would strive to fulfil his campaign promises.

The governor, represented by his Deputy, Mr Ifeanyi Ossai, while acknowledging that workers needed improved wage to meet economic realities in the country, stressed that the income they received currently hardly met the basic needs of life.

“We all go to same market, buy from same petrol station and shops and children go to same school and hospital.

“Be patient with us because we are putting things in place with the means available to the government to make life better for all of us.

“Wage award will not solve all the problems as it is just a palliative to cushion the effects of hard economy and that is why we are building a system that will solve the problems in the long run,” he said.

He added that:  “You can witness the revolution in road infrastructure, aggressive work at International Conference Centre, awarded contract to rebuild Hotel Presidential and revitalised Nigergas Company.”

The governor said his government desired to do more in the state’s investment in SMART Schools but lacked the resources.

“That is why we try to create wealth, and have been aggressive on our foreign and local investments and creation of jobs.

“And our wish and efforts is that in years to come, the workers will live beyond what they were currently facing.”

The governor further explained that his administration was building the SMART schools to train Enugu children for the future as well as improving  public schools and healthcare systems.

He stressed that with effective transport system, pressures on families would reduce as their would be no additional cost in maintaining their cars.

While commending workers for the support they had received from them since they assumed office, he promised to look into pension issues to ensure that every retiree got paid.

“I want to thank you for your hard work and commitment in driving government policies to ensure that they benefit the people,” Mbah said.

The State Chairperson, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Fabian Nwigbo, said the removal of fuel subsidy without anything in place to cushion the effects, created a lot of hardship for workers who received N30, 000 as minimum wage.

Commending Mbah for all his government was doing in the state, the chairperson urged him to ensure that after the verification of pensioners, payment of arrears of gratuity should commence to alleviate their sufferings.

He equally appealed to him to direct payment of arrears of pension to State Parastatals, Primary Schools and Local Government retirees.

On his part, the state Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Benneth Asogwa, urged the governor to harmonise gratuity for state and local government retirees.

He also called for the review of the termination of the appointment of some staff of the Enugu State College of Education (Technical).

While lauding the governor for various developmental strides in the state, Asogwa, equally appealed to him to regularise appointment of some civil servants recruited in 2012 by the Coal City Transport Services.

The highlight of the event included a march – past by different labour unions in the state. (NAN)

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