The Evangelist News Edition, May 2, 2023. Admin.
Akwa Ibom workers today received the assurances of the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel of a parting gift of a medium housing scheme before the end of the current administration.
Addressing the 2023 International Workers Day celebration held at Ibom Hall Grounds, Uyo, the Governor said work was ongoing on the project and that some units were already completed awaiting commissioning before May 29.
“for the Housing Scheme, let me reassure you that before I leave office on May 29, I’m going to commission a Medium Housing Scheme for workers. As at today we’ve done a lot of units. Just trust me, we’ll commission that before we leave office”, he assured.
Appreciating the robust working relationship he has enjoyed with Akwa Ibom workers by extension the organised Labour throughout his tenure, the governor asserted that Government and Labour are supposed to partner for the development of the state rather than play rivalry.
This, he affirmed, has been upheld by Labour during his tenure.
On issues of discontentment among workers in some work organisations in the state, Governor Emmanuel said he does not subscribe to victimization but stressed that discipline should be the watchword for all parties.
He also pleaded for patience with business organizations that may not be able to meet up certain demands while still trying to find footing.
In a solidarity message, the incoming governor, Pastor Umo Eno, appreciated the workers for fulfilling their pledge to support his emergence in the March 18 gubernatorial election and assured that he would keep his own part of the bargain upon assumption of office.
The Governor-elect further promised to further the mutually beneficial Government-Labour relationship in the state and urged all sectors to synergize in the interest of the state.
The Head of Civil Service, Elder Effiong Essien, described as apt the theme of this year’s celebration “Workers’ Rights and Socio-Economic Justice” maintaining that the Udom Emmanuel – led government has continued to do justice to workers’ welfare by implementing policies that impact the lives of workers and retirees.
He therefore sued for continuous dedication to duty on the side of the workers to reciprocate government gestures.
The State Controller, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Amuboh Oroghene, congratulated Akwa Ibom workers on the event, admonishing them to resist mortgaging long group interest for short-term personal gains in their quest for better working conditions.
On the part of the organized Labour, the Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Sunny James and his Trade Union Congress, TUC, counterpart, Comrade Dominic Abang, both acknowledged the sacrifices of workers to building the economy and the commitment of the current administration to improve workers’ welfare, especially as regards prompt payment of salaries and other emoluments.
Comrade Sunny James however called on the Governor to address some critical needs of workers like consequential pension adjustment of retirees, payment of gratuities and leave grant to all categories of workers in the State and those in the Local Government employ, promotion arrears for workers, refund of 7.5% deductions made for contributory pension to workers, logistics support to workers’ unions and other issues bothering on welfare of workers.
Highpoint of the event was march pass by various labour unions and organizations.