As workers celebrate May Day all over the world, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has said workers are valuable assets in any policy, programme and project implementation.
Governor Okowa amidst applause from cheering workers reeled out his administration’s achievements in meeting with his electoral promises to workers at the celebration which took place in Asaba.
According to the governor, “This administration is constantly aware of the sacrifices of workers and their contributions to the development of our dear state and country; our workers remain unarguably very important assets in any policy, programme and project implementation, that is why the present administration has sought and will continue to seek the hands of labour so that together, we can attain the enviable heights of progress in our beloved state.
“I sincerely request your cooperation and understanding as partners in progress; we are always conscious of ensuring harmony to bring out the best in the workforce and I assure you that working together, this administration will continue to protect workers’ rights and shall promote incentives for greater productivity leading to greater prosperity,” the governor said.
He continued, “My dear workers, you are no doubt aware that the state government has approved owner-occupier for the workers residing in the junior staff estate; at the same time, the buildings on the new housing estate on Ibusa road are to be completed and handed over to workers; the present administration has continued to keep our promises to our workers; we are paying salaries promptly, and when the next Paris Club money is received, we shall assist the local government councils that are indebted to their workers to pay off all that they owe.
“It is important that we make clear distinction between state government and local government, what we do as a state must be seen as assistant because, it is not the duty of the state government to pay salaries of local government councils,” Governor Okowa clarified.
The governor at the event announced the appointments of nine permanent secretaries and the appointment of Mr Tony Obuh, former governorship aspirant, and Mr. Lawson Efenudu as Chairman and Executive Secretary respectively of the Delta State Pension Board.
He clarified that his administration spends about N1 billion monthly for the payment of pensions, noting that the backlog of pension arrears was much but, his administration was making arrangements to clear the backlog.
Governor Okowa also, thanked civil servants for their cooperation in ensuring that the clock in, clock out mechanism introduced in the state was effective, stating, with the clock-in arrangement, we will ensure that only those who work receive salaries.
Chairman of the NLC in the state, Comrade Jonathan Jemirieyigbe at the event, said, our Governor, the theme of this years event is, Labour Movement In National Development, Dare To Struggle, Dare To Win; while I assure you of the workers continuous support to your administration, the organised labour in the state appreciates the giant strides your administration has made in the past three years through your SMART Agenda.
Comrade Chinedu Nwobodo who is the Chairman of TUC in the state in an address at the event, thanked Governor Okowas administration for paying salaries of workers regularly especially in the trying year of 2016 when the economy was at the verge of collapse.
From the venue of the May Day celebration, Governor Okowa moved to the Stephen Keshi stadium Asaba where he said, “A lot of work has been done; the main bowl is taking shape, construction work is at advanced stage at the swimming pool section, the gallery and l believe that in three weeks time, that is before May 29, the stadium will be ready for the African Athletic Championship.”
The Site Engineer, Lewis Masowa who conducted the governor and his team round the facility explained that the Stephen Keshi Stadium was unique because it has nine lane and FIFA approved football pitch with natural grass.