…as Adigwe emerges new state president
Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has made very serious demand for more recruitment into the local government service of Anambra state to address dearth of workers in the system.
The union made the demand at her 7th Quadrennial State Delegates Conference held at Marble Arch hotels Awka at the weekend.
Principal state secretary of NULGE in Anambra state, Comrade Segun Netufo, who made the demand during a vote of thanks, said the local system in Anambra state is currently suffering from acute shortage of workers because people retire from the service yearly and no recruitment is conducted to replace them.
According to Netufo, the last employment into the local government service in Anambra state was conducted in 2002 and such was tantamount to strangulating the local government service in the state.
He expressed worry that those who were employed in 2002 were senior officers now yet they clean their chairs, tables and sweep their offices by themselves, stressing that there were no cleaners, no gardeners in the local government service of Anambra state.
The principal state secretary however appealed to Governor Willie Obiano to please employ more workers into the local government councils, pointing out that it was not good for grade level 12, 13 and some others to sweep their offices by themselves; that it was uncalled for and government must ameliorate the situation with immediate effect.
Outgone state president of NULGE in Anambra state, Comrade Jerry Nnubia, in his valedictory speech, reeled out some of his accomplishments to include protest for local government autonomy, struggle for new minimum wage, completion and furnishing of NULGE secretariat in Awka, procurement of official vehicles, regular staff promotions, regular payment of salaries and leave allowances and pensions, amongst numerous others.
Although Nnubia highlighted some challenges confronting NULGE in Anambra to include the contributory pension scheme, salary disparities and a few others, he emphasized that the relationship between NULGE and the state government had been very cordial.
Meanwhile, the national president of NULGE represented by the national vice president of NULGE (Southeast), Comrade Patrick Igwe, urged Governor Willie Obiano to do more for the workers especially as it concerns the contributory pension scheme, where he noted that workers seemed not to be happy with the scheme.
The NULGE national president who said that workers would continue to ask for better working conditions, implored the state governor not to renege on his friendly disposition to workers but ensure that he sustained the friendly relations as workers continue to offer prayers and supplications on his behalf.
In his response, Governor Willie Obiano assured delegates to the 7th Quadrennial State Delegates Conference that the harmonious labour relations with the state workforce remained sacrosanct.
Obiano, who was represented by the Head of Service of the Anambra State Civil Service, Barr Harry Uduh, further disclosed to the workers that they were both partners in the project of development.
The governor said he factored payment of the new minimum wage into the 2020 budget because of his profound interest in workers’ welfare and well-being adding that even in the height of depression, he continually paid workers’ salaries on the 25th of every month since he assumed office in 2014.
The governor said November salaries had been paid and that workers were currently receiving their bags of rice for Christmas, assuring them further that their December salaries would be paid on the 15th of December.
He also assured them that their leave allowances would be paid on 5th of December while promising workers that he would surpass other state governors in the payment of the new national minimum wage.
Highpoint of the occasion was the election of new state officers for the Anambra chapter of NULGE which produced Comrade Chikwelu William Adigwe as the new state president alongside other officers.