Governor Willie Obiano says his government is working through a Special Committee on outstanding workers’ demands which it set up to address the disparity in the salaries of local and State government workers.
The Governor disclosed this when he received the National President of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel and some officials of the Union at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.
The NULGE National President and the entourage from the Union’s National Secretariat were in the state as part of their nationwide advocacy campaign for Local Government Autonomy and to affirm the position of Labour in the state endorsing Governor Obiano for a second term in office.
Addressing his guests, Governor Obiano who said the imbalance will be addressed very soon, noted that after his eight-year tenure, he would want to be remembered as the most workers-friendly Governor the State has ever had.
On the clamour for local government autonomy, Governor Obiano explained that the average monthly Federal allocation for local governments is about 2.3 billion but the cost of running them runs in excess of that, adding for the past nine months, his government had supported the local government system financially from the state’s internally generated revenue and had not owed any worker.
He however commended the labour leadership in the State for supporting the initiative to rid the state workforce of ghost workers and assured workers in the state that despite the challenges, his administration has placed their welfare as a first line charge and will not renege in its obligations towards them.
The NULGE National President, Comrade Khaleel explained that their decision to align with the State Labour union in endorsing the Governor was because of the improved working condition the state workforce has enjoyed under his leadership as well as the transformational strides of his administration that has placed the state in an enviable position nationwide.
He expressed optimism that the Governor will look into the outstanding issues of the local government workers especially as it concerns disparity in salaries with their state counterpart with a view to addressing them permanently.
Earlier in his remarks, the State Head of Service, Bar. Harry Udu noted that whenever Labour calls in the state, his office is usually willing to receive them as against what obtains in other states, attributing the development to the Governor’s humane disposition towards workers in the state.
In a vote of thanks, the National Vice President, Southeast, Comrade Patrick Igwe described Governor Obiano as a rare gift to Anambra workers and said his leadership style poses a model in labor relations which his contemporaries across the country should emulate.
The NULGE National President was also accompanied on the visit by the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress and State President of NULGE, Comrade Jerry Nnubia.