Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has reiterated his government’s commitment to pay workers in the state the N30,000 new minimum wage approved by the Federal Government.
The governor gave the assurance on Thursday while declaring open the state Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Quadrennial Conference in Asaba.
Okowa, represented by his Special Adviser on SERVICOM and Labour Relations, Mr Mike Okeme, said that dialogue remained the best approach to achieving results in any society or institution.
He appealed to labour unions to sustain the cordial relationship existing in the state.
The governor thanked the outgoing executives for their cooperation and approach to issues, while urging the incoming to sustain the relationship.
Okowa said that he would address the workers on the direction his administration would explore on May 1, Workers Day.
He thanked the workers Union for its support, contributions and understanding that had contributed to the existing peace between the workers and government.
In a goodwill message, the NLC National President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, urged the state government to immediately implement the new minimum wage for the workers.
Wabba, represented by Mr Bio Josiah, National President, Medical and Health Workers Union, said that the union would protest any action by government to lay workers off.
The NLC President also said that organised labour would resist any attempt by the Federal Government to increase pump price of petroleum products.
“Government should put the refineries in good shape to serve the people,” he said.
In his address, the outgoing State NLC Chairman, Mr Jonathan Jemireyigbe, thanked the workers for their support, and the government for giving his executives the enabling environment to function.
He said that under his watch, workers in the state fared well, with salaries and all other entitlements were paid regularly.
Jemireyigbe said that the state government was addressing issues of pension and had made good commitment on settling the backlog.
He, however, appealed to the state government to increase the current N500 million released monthly to N1 billion, to defray the arrears of the contributory pensions, to enable those retiring to get paid on time.
The outgoing chairman charged the incoming labour executives to work closely with government and ensure protection of workers’ welfare.
Reports have it that the delegates conference was harmonised with the executives returned on voice vote.
The new state NLC Chairman, Mr Goodluck Ofobruku, also incumbent State Chairman, Medical and Health Workers Union, pledged to work for the interest of the workers and to protect their welfare.
He thanked the government for its neutrality and for not imposing any candidate on the union.
Ofobruku appealed for the workers’ support, to enable the executive to succeed.