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Gov. Mbah, Enugu Workers And Days Ahead

By Samson Ezea 

Since assuming office as Governor of Enugu State, Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, has continously and wholeheartedly demonstrated his commitment, plans and passion for the welfare of the people of the state, especially the workers, taking into cognizance that the state is predominantly a civil service state. 

   Mbah has not only taken crucial and decisive steps and measures to improve the working conditions of the workers, his administration is also working assiduously to increase the productivity, output and value of the workers in tandem with the international standards and visions of his government that are anchored on disruptive innovations and exponential economic growth that will make the state economy the biggest in the nearest future with expected growth from 4.4bn dollars to 30bn dollars. 

   Obviously, Governor Mbah being a great entrepreneur and manager of material and human resources in both private and public sectors before, understands and knows that civil servants are the engine room and driving force of every government, hence his administration places high premium on the welfare of the workers and is leaving no stone unturned to better their lots. 

    While planning, taking steps and formulating policies that will benefit workers in the state, Governor Mbah didn't overlook the challenges of pensioners in the state. That is why on assumption of office, his administration set up committee to verify the backlog of pensions,  which the administration has cleared in fulfillment of his campaign promises and kept the machinery in motion to defray the outstanding gratituities. 

   To ensure that workers in the state contribute meaningfully, professionally and expectedly, Governor Mbah has at the peak of his administration’s pronounced ban on the once IPOB- induced Monday sit-at-home in the state, and provided buses that convey workers to offices on Mondays. This kind gesture motivated and assisted the workers in overcoming the initial transport hiccups and challenges that greeted the ban on sit-at-home in the state.  

   With the removal of the fuel subsidy by Federal Government and its concomitant hardships and pains on Nigerians, which have provoked several public outcries and complaints, workers in the states, national level and private sector have been agitating and demanding for  salary increments to be in reality with the prevailing economic situation. While many state governments have paid deaf ears, citing paucity of funds, the Federal Government and few state governments have responded by awarding paltry sums to workers' salaries as fillip and incentive. 

   In Enugu, Governor Mbah in his magnanimity and compassion for humanity has upped the ante recently by announcing between N10,000 and N25,000 cash awards to Enugu State Workers and increase Social Register Enrolment from 43,000 to 260,000 beneficiaries. 

  According to Governor Mbah, the cash awards of between N10,000 and N25,000 will be paid to the state workers from November 2023 till April 2024, while the new minimum wage negotiation would soon be concluded.  

   The Governor stressed that the welfare of workers remained the priority of his administration, as his laudable goals for Enugu could not be attained without a happy workforce. He also announced an increase by his administration of the state social register enrolment from 43,000 to 260,000, promising to lift more indigent citizens through cash transfers and other social interventions.

   “As you may be aware, since the removal of the petroleum subsidy, we have been in constant negotiation with the labour unions in the state, crafting a way forward on how we can provide palliatives to our teeming workforce.

“So, by the time you put a monetary value to all the social services we have provided, it will weigh well above N100,000 minimum wage.

   “But in addition to that, with effect from next month (December), we are going to also make a flat payment to all categories of our workers, beginning from our local government to the primary and secondary school teachers, and civil servants. We are going to categorise them and there will be flat payment of between N10,000 and 25,000, depending on the category. That payment is going to continue till April.

 “Our hope is that by the end of April, the committee that is reviewing the minimum wage would have come out with what would then become the new minimum wage in the state. So, from there, we are just going to carry on the implementation of what is then set as the minimum wage,” Governor Mbah stated.

This is not the first time Governor Mbah will be responding promptly to the yearnings and needs of workers in the state as he has always done and will continue to do, because workers' welfare is a top priority of  his administration.  

   It would be recalled that not too long ago, Governor Mbah expeditiously approved 2023 promotion and conversion exercises for civil servants in the 

Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Apart from this, Governor Mbah's government has elaborate housing scheme for workers in the state that will make them house owners. Just like his predecessor, Governor Mbah has carved a niche for himself already and has become workers' most friendly governor in the Southeast region, if not Nigeria, having taken care of workers' pressing needs, which most of his colleagues, even in oil producing states have not done for their workers. 

    To reciprocate and appreciate Governor Mbah's rare and kind gestures, there is need for workers in the state to not only continue to support Governor Mbah’s administration by taking their work seriously, shunning truancy, improving on their qualifications, knowledge and skills and ensuring effective implementation of government policies and programmes that will help Governor Mbah drive his visions for the state and its people to logical conclusions for betterment of all and sundry. 

   This is a great partnership, love and syngery that the workers in the state must cherish, preserve and guard in the overall interest of the state, while Governor Mbah's administration lasts for tomorrow is here already and there are better days ahead for Enugu workers.

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