The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, has inaugurated a special 10-man committee to look into some lingering issues, concerning the welfare of workers in the state.
Named as the “Special Committee on Outstanding Labour – Workers Demands and Issues,” the committee is headed by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke, with Prof Solo Chukwulobelu, Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Harry Uduh, Head of Service, Barr Anali Chude, Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ifeatu Onejeme, Commissioner for Finance and Lady Joy Ulasi, Chairman, Post Primary School Service Commission as members.
The Committee, which has Mr. Tony Ezenwaka, Permanent Secretary in the Office of Head of Service, as its secretary, also has Nzeagwu Nze Emeka Olisa, Chairman Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board, (ASUBEB), Ngozi Okonkwo, Accountant General in the Ministry of Finance as well as Mr. Tony Oli, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Finance, as members.
The committee was given four months to deliberate on all the outstanding demands of labour in all segments and make appropriate recommendations, vis-a-vis financial implications and source of funds to the state government.
Its terms of reference include the review and harmonisation of pensions, sustainable implementation of the new Contributory Pension Scheme, severance gratuity, benefits for retired judges, sisparities in the payment of local government workers, doctors and other local government health professionals.
The committee’s terms of reference also include issues, concerning the non payment of peculiarity allowance to NASU, PPSSC and ASUBEB staff, hazard allowance to fire officers, outstanding matters of Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, (JUSUN), retirement age of 65 years for Nwafor Orizu College of Education NOCEN, among others.
Inaugurating the committee on Thursday, Governor Obiano explained that it was established to further improve on the welfare of workers in the state, by submitting appropriate recommendations that would bolster the new lease of life that workers in the state have been enjoying since the inception of his administration.
The Governor recalled that his administration had always made bold efforts to improve the lot of civil servants in the state, going on to increase workers salaries by 16% in 2015 and announced that the State Civil Service Commission had been directed to commence the process of promotion in line with the state civil service rules.
Governor Obiano further urged the workers to be committed and diligent in their duties because his administration had resolved to explore more ways of ensuring their happiness.
He also urged the committee to ensure that it delivers on its terms of reference within the specified period.
In his own remarks, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Okeke, who is also chairman of the committee observed that the committee was clear demonstration of Governor Obiano’s manifest goodwill towards the workers.
He assured that the committee would come up with realistic recommendations, as directed by the governor that would usher in a better life for workers in Anambra State.
Earlier in his remarks, the Head of Service, Barr. Uduh, explained that the committee was Governor Obiano’s response to the demands made by the workers during this year’s Workers’ Day celebration and applauded him for being attentive to the cries of the workers.