• Friday, May 24, 2024
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May Day: Abia governor describes workers as agents of development, transformation

Otti inaugurates 9-man digital economy, SME advisory committee in Abia

Alex Otti, governor of Abia State, has described workers as agents of development and transformation, saying that the policy of his administration is “workers first.”

Otti stated this Wednesday during the celebration of this year’s Workers Day at Umuahia Township Stadium.

He promised that Abia would take the lead in the implementation of the new minimum wage being negotiated by the tripartite committee of the Federal Government.
He also assured that he would backdate the implementation and pay its arrears to the state workers.

The governor, who also promised to look into the request for payment of the approved wage award expeditiously, said that the arrears of the leave allowances and salaries owed by the immediate past administration would be paid case-by-case while assuring that never again would the workers be owed in Abia State.

Read also: Otti appoints more aides to strengthen administration

Otti, who tagged his speech, ‘Workers as Agents of Development and Transformation,’ acknowledged the ingenuity of the members of the Abia workforce and emphasised that it would be workers first in the new Abia.

He disclosed that he had made it a policy to meet salaries and entitlements of the workers and pensioners first before the political office holders get their monthly official entitlements.

While appreciating and congratulating the workers on their special day, he called on them to support his administration in its quest to rebuild Abia State.

“We made it clear that in the New Abia, it will be Workers First. Our conviction is that the welfare and interests of the workers, past, present and future, will come before listening to the demands of the political class. Since we assumed office, we have made it an official policy of government. That we must meet our salary obligations before political office holders are paid their monthly entitlement.

“The state is deeply grateful for your sacrifices, your diligence. I am pleased to inform you that we shall take the lead in implementation as soon as a new national minimum wage structure is announced. I understand that labour leaders across the country are currently engaging with the Federal Government and we are following those discussions closely.

“We have also noted your other demands including payment of arrears of leave allowance, promotions and other accumulated debts owed our workforce in the last eight to ten years. We shall carefully consider these requests and deal with them on a case-by-case basis, and subject to availability of resources,” Otti said.

Okoro Ogbonnaya, state chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), in his speech, commended Governor Alex Otti for all his developmental strides so far, including the welfare of workers in the state.

Ogbonnaya requested the governor to defray the arrears of leave allowances and salaries owed workers in the state by the immediate past administration. He also brought to the notice of the governor the need to conduct promotion exercises in the state service which were last carried out in 2021, pay the approved wage award, approve the payment of promotion arrears, recruitment of teachers as well as immediate intervention on the crises that led to the closure of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.