By Johnpaul Anih, 10/2/2021
Workers of Enugu State under the aegis of the Organized Labour, on Tuesday, paid a Thank-you visit to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his administration’s consistency in addressing their issues in spite of various challenges confronting the nation.
The Organized Labour, comprising the state leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC), described Ugwuanyi as a God-fearing, peaceful and Labour-friendly leader, who has lived up to expectations in fulfilling his promises to workers of the state since his assumption of office in 2015.
They maintained that Gov. Ugwuanyi has made a lot of promises to the workers and fulfilled them expeditiously despite “the state’s dwindling resources occasioned by the nation’s economic recession, which your administration has experienced twice in five years, the novel COVID-19 pandemic, #EndSARS protests, among others”.
Speaking, the State Chairman of NLC, Comrade Virginus Nwobodo said that the governor’s steadfastness and commitment to the welfare of the workers of Enugu State have brought pride to the state, nationally, to the extent that “any time we go for our national meetings, when other labour leaders will be crying that this one has not been done, we will be giving them information about new things that are happening in Enugu; and they have always applauded you (Ugwuanyi), even without you being in our national meeting”.
On the ongoing construction of befitting secretariat complexes, simultaneously, for the NLC and TUC in the state, Comrade Nwobodo, who disclosed that the major aim of their visit was to thank the governor specially for the landmark feats, noted that the former secretariat given to NLC around 1998 by then military administration “was an eyesore, but today you (Ugwuanyi) have come to wipe our tears”.
The labour leader added that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration is not only constructing an ultramodern secretariat for the NLC, the state government also deemed it important to construct the same for the TUC.
He revealed that Enugu State chapter of the TUC “never had a secretariat but were using the Association of Senior Civil Servant office, since it was created around 2006”.
Comrade Nwobodo who pointed out that Gov. Ugwuanyi has changed the narrative of NLC and TUC in Enugu State, added that their greatest joy was that the governor is building the two secretariats simultaneously, “and that is why we are here to say thank you Sir for wiping our tears and changing the narrative”.
According to him, “our words cannot be enough to register our heartfelt gratitude but we will continue to pray for you and support your peaceful and people-centered administration”.
Also speaking, the State Chairman of TUC, Comrade Benneth Asogwa, while endorsing the presentation made by the NLC Chairman, said that they are amazed that the governor commenced the landmark projects, as he earlier promised, when they least expected them because of the nation’s challenges.
Comrade Asogwa assured the governor that “even though you belong to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a political party, we are strongest party you have because the workers of Enugu State will always be with you even when you leave office as a governor”.
He stated that the endorsement was “because of the way you (Ugwuanyi) have loved and cared for the workers of Enugu State since the time you assumed office”.
His words: “Your Excellency has always listened to us; in fact the minimum wage issue has always been a nightmare to us until you assumed office.
“We were afraid that the jaw-jaw relationship between the state government and labour in Enugu might get soiled over the recent new minimum wage but you never allowed it to happen that way. In short, you were the one initiating the processes and making sure that it took off without any stress.
“We don’t want to continue recounting all you have done to ensure that the workers are taken care of, but we cannot forget in a hurry that we are one of the states in Nigeria that have never cried at any point in time over non-payment of salaries. Even when recession was biting deep you continued paying us, you never owe anybody.
“It is an exemplary leadership that has not been equaled by anybody else, even when we know that we are not among the list of states that receive large allocations from the Federal Government. We thank you for that Your Excellency”.
Comrade Asogwa also appreciated Gov. Ugwuanyi for the quality secretariats his administration is building for the labour unions, expressing optimism that “by the time we finish our secretariat it will not just be the best but also outstanding”.
He equally commended the governor for keeping faith with his administration’s start-to-finish policy, maintaining that “every project you started is either completed or ongoing”.
Thanking God for bringing the governor on board “at this critical period in the nation’s history”, the TUC Chairman said: “If He (God) didn’t bring you at this critical period the workers of Enugu State would have suffered, the people of Enugu State would have seen the effects of these recession and COVID-19 pandemic to the maximum”.
On the state government’s rural development agenda, the labour leader said: “It is not only that you take care of workers, you are still embarking on development projects. Normally, other governments will come and concentrate projects in the city where people can easily see them, but we know that in the hinterlands of Enugu State we feel the impact of your government.
Even as labour leaders, we do not just watch to see what your government does for workers, we also look at the impact you are making in the lives of other people. And we are satisfied with your untiring efforts”.
Also in the delegation were the State Chairman of JNC, Comrade Igbokwe Chukwuma Igbokwe, the State President of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Kenneth Ugwueze, the State Secretary of NLC, Comrade Fabian Nwaigbo, his TUC counterpart, Comrade Daniel Nwodo and the State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Chief Nweke Odo, who attended the event in his capacity as the State Treasurer of NLC, among others.