By Tony Edike
ENUGU – Enugu State government has defended its decision to construct a N13 billion workers’ secretariat, insisting that it was imperative to provide a very conducive work environment for public workers in the state in order to ensure improved service delivery.
The Head of Service, Mr. Dennis Eze, who spoke on the issue yesterday in Enugu, said the new Secretariat Complex on 6.7 hectares of land also became necessary since the structures at the old site were dilapidated with leaking roofs and poor public conveniences.
The government had been under intense pressure over the extra-budgetary expenditure as the critics complained that such fund should be invested in human development, including settlement of over 30 months pension arrears for retired teachers and other civil servants in the state.
Eze, who was silent on the issue of pension arrears for retired civil servants, explained that before embarking on the new secretariat complex, the performance implementation arm of government took a holistic review of the project and discovered that the old building could no longer be effectively maintained, saying the cost of maintaining one building there could build two new ones with modern facilities.
He said that apart from approval by the state executive council, the labour unions and other stakeholders also saw the need for a modern secretariat complex for public servants.
According to Eze, the new secretariat complex will resolve the present problem of office accommodation facing some ministries, departments and agencies and will also be designed to make provision for the installation of modern day office equipment for workers.