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Prioritising workers welfare

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Anambra @27: Transforming fears to feats, legacies

SINCE Governor Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano (Akpokuodike) took the reins of power in Anambra State, the state has undoubtedly benefitted from the wealth of his professional experience as an expert in financial management and human resource development

. His performance has surpassed the expectations of both his supporters and critics.  The governor has received accolades and commendations for his steering ingenuity in governance which has manifested in all the sectors of the economy of the state.

Today, the state is well placed among the first choice investment destinations in Nigeria due to significant improvement in security, agriculture, roads and social Infrastructure, amongst others.

His ingenuity in governance ability to give human face to leadership manifested most in placing the welfare of the state’s workforce foremost in his governance blueprint, through which he has carved out serious reforms in the civil service of the state.

His leadership philosophy,   ‘while we fix things, we should also fix lives’  has been applied to workers and they are now more poised to see His Excellency’s dreams for the state.  Anambra State Civil Service, under Obiano’s administration is well equipped, positioned and is undertaking global best practices in carrying out the day to day activities of the government.

A public servant,Abraham Okoye disclosed that Obiano’s workers’ friendly disposition was first brought to bear few months after he was sworn-in as governor. According to him, the governor raised the salary of the state work force by 15% despite the biting economic recession in the country that drastically reduced the state’s earnings from federation allocation (FAAC) and other sources of revenue generation.

The increase harmonized the pay of the state’s civil servants with that of the local government workers. He even promised to do more when the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) increases.  He also made workers feel special with the bags of rice he annually distributes to them, a gesture for which they lauded him as being very humane.

What endeared the governor most to the workers and earned him the nick name, ‘alert governor,’ is the prompt and regular payment of salaries on or before 25th of every month, which was a clear departure from the norm of previous administrations.

It is on record today that Obiano’s government does not owe workers and pensioners arrears of salaries, leave allowances, pension, gratuity and other sundry benefits.  This is happening at a time when even states richer than Anambra are on the news for owing arrears of salaries, benefits and pensions running into months and years.

Coming from the private sector where high premium is placed in training and retraining of staff, Obiano’s government has over time, made appropriate budgets and carried out training of workers in the service of the State, especially, teachers,many of whom were sent abroad on training the trainers basis.

This kind of gesture has also impacted on the outstanding performance of workers and generally, the state government’s ratings that attracted awards.  The Economic realities in the country has not debarred the governor from forwarding deserving workers as he has continued the gradual release of promotions of workers, unlike the stagnation of promotions witnessed in the past.

Not long ago, he released the 2015 and 2016 promotions of teachers, state and local government civil servants and also approved the 2012 promotions of workers that were due.

These gestures and many more made the leadership of organized labour in the state to endorse the governor for a second term and mobilized workers to vote for the return of the governor to government house.  Of course, the governor’s performance gave him an unprecedented win in the political history of Nigeria, scoring 21 over 21 in the last governorship election.

They also conferred on the governor ”The Most Labour-Friendly Governor’.

But Oliver Twist, the state workers are still pressing for an upward review of the salaries as the economic situation in the country has sky rocketed the cost of goods and services, making nonsense of  the take home pay  of workers as it  does not scratch the surface of their basic needs.

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