Governor Soludo Commends Anambra Workers’ Commitment, Assures them of Unwavering Support
The Governor made the disclosure at the 2023 Workers’ Day Celebration, held at Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka.
Governor Soludo disclosed that while organized labour makes up a small portion of the state workforce; Keke drivers, transporters, hawkers, traders, farmers, artisans, and self-employed individuals who are much more in number, are also workers.
The Governor acknowledged the contributions from all workers, including public servants, civil servants, and all those employed by different agencies and parastatals, and thanked them for their support and solidarity.
He asked them to focus on the big picture while reiterating his unwavering dedication to their welfare, adding that —after all, he was himself once a teacher!
“You should be aware that anything pertaining to workers that this government has not done is currently not financially feasible”, Governor Soludo revealed.
The Governor stressed that despite declining revenue, pensions and gratuities inherited from previous administration since 2018 running into billions of naira, is currently being paid without prompting by his government
“I made the decision and everybody who has retired under my watch has been paid their gratuity and pensions as and when due.
“Our Government is very transparent. The budget for this year is predicated on IGR of 4 billion naira per month, but we are actually making an average of 2 billion naira per month, operating with an 8 billion naira deficit for the past four months.
“Revenue is not increasing, so one of the pressures I faced when I took office was to review employee salaries and reduce the workforce by half. The story wouldn’t be what it is today if I had yielded to it.
“I took into account the country’s inflationary situation when I made the decision to raise workers’ salaries by ten percent.
“10,000 employees are currently receiving digital skills and it will continue until every Anambra worker is digitally trained,” Governor Soludo pointed out.
The Governor committed to investigating workers due for promotion and assured to continue to improve on the welfare of workers as the state revenue increases.
Speaking earlier, the Anambra State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Humphrey Emeka Nwafor, praised the Governor for successfully recruiting 5000 primary/secondary school teachers and raising Anambra workers’ wages, among others.
The Chairman advocated for mass recruitment of personnel to fill vacancies created by mass retirement from the service, worker training and retraining to enable them improve their skills and contribute meaningfully to the development of the state. Other demands made by the Chairman include procurement of new buses for public servants and regular maintenance of existing ones, and the provision of low-cost housing for workers, among others.
On his part, the Anambra State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Comrade Chris Ogbonna, stated that while the relationship between the Trade Union Congress and the Anambra Government has been cordial, is because when issues of disagreement arise, there is always an effort to settle them amicably.