The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), which make up the leadership of organized labor in Enugu State, have praised Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his extraordinary dedication to the welfare of the state workforce despite the avalanche of difficulties his administration has faced since taking office in 2015.
On Thursday, the labor leaders paid Governor Ugwuanyi what could be considered a farewell visit at the Government House in Enugu. They said that while “we may not say that you have solved all the issues facing workers,” the governor has done so much for them.
The organized labor emphasized that despite facing the most challenging economic recessions in the history of both Enugu State and Nigeria, Governor Ugwuanyi was able to satisfactorily address workers’ basic needs and, unlike in the past, had a cordial working relationship with the state workforce.
The workers praised the governor’s outstanding efforts in attending to their needs as well as state development issues, pointing out that Enugu is primarily a civil service state with inherent large wage bills and other related financial obligations that must be attended to monthly from the state’s limited resources.
The State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Comrade Bennett Asogwa, spoke on behalf of the state’s workers and leaders of organized labor, revealing that their relationship with Governor Ugwuanyi was extremely cordial and unheard of in the state’s history. He said: “Your Excellency, we know that we are really going to miss you seriously. We are hoping that the new governor, Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, will be better, but so far, everything is going well.
Comrade Asogwa outlined the many positive things Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration did for the workforce, including paying the new N30,000 minimum wage with its ensuing adjustments, improving civil servant welfare, paying salaries and retiree pensions on time, promoting and training workers, and giving 100 lucky civil servants the opportunity to become proud landlords of a one-bedroom apartment each.
He continued by thanking the governor and assuring him of their never-ending supplications, unity, and assistance.
Only when we take stock of all that Ugwuanyi has accomplished for workers will people realize just how far we’ve come.
“You gave us the freedom to contact you whenever we wanted, whether by phone, text, or in person. Even with your busy schedule as governor, it is a very uncommon privilege.
“Your Excellency, you have already established the precedent that must be upheld because, regardless of the circumstances, no one will claim that he will face more difficult economic challenges than you did because we are aware that you took office during a time of economic recession in the nation and that you were followed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the EndSARS protest, among other things.
And none of these difficulties, which significantly reduced the state’s already limited resources, prevented you from implementing the new minimum wage. Before you became governor, there were so many other underlying structures that were not in place, and you brought those things to bear.
“We are very grateful. In the name of Jesus, the labor leader said, “And we know that God has not finished with you; this is the beginning of your leadership. We are expecting you in higher places.”
Governor Ugwuanyi thanked the employees for their kind words, unity, and support over the years and urged them to continue being committed to the state’s peace and progress.
He urged them to give Dr. Mbah’s incoming administration the same support and cooperation.
The official introduction of Comrade Barr as the new State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) marked the high point of the trip. Governor Ugwuanyi received a delegation from Fabian Nwigbo and other new union executives.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Due Process, Mr. Sylvanus Onoyima, and the Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, both attended the event.