Workers in Edo State, on Tuesday, took to major streets within the Benin metropolis to appreciate the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for his government’s commitment to the welfare of workers in the state, declaring support for candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Saturday, March 18, House of Assembly elections.
At the one-day appreciation rally, members of the organized labour hailed the governor for the transformational reforms in the civil service, listing the payment of the N40,000 minimum wage, regular and prompt promotion of civil/public servants, prompt payment of salaries and pensions to workers and retirees, conducive work environment, an increase of retirement age from 60 years to 65 years and service years from 35 to 40 years (whichever comes first), among several others as some of the governor’s strides in the civil and public service.
THE organized Labour comprising of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Public Service Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) also endorsed candidates of the PDP in the House of Assembly elections.
Addressing the governor on behalf of the organized labour, Edo NLC chairman, Chief Comr. Odion Olaye, stated that “every right-thinking Edolite will agree that the Obaseki-led administration under the PDP banner had brought massive transformation to the state, hence the need to vote in people who will work with the governor to achieve further development in the state.”
In his response, Obaseki said, “The most important elements in any society are the workers and without workers, you cannot have government buildings alone do not make the Government but the people who work in government.
“When I came into office, I said never again will people work for 30-35 years and afterwards be abandoned. So, we started the contribution towards pension and today, we have over 10 billion in that fund. So, in the future, as you people are leaving, the money is there for pension and gratuity.”
Olaye earlier noted, “We, the organized labour, after looking deeply into what you have been doing for workers and the state, have come to thank and support you.
“We are the only state with a minimum wage of N40,000, regular and prompt promotion of civil/public servants, prompt payment of salaries and pensions to workers and retirees, conducive work environment, an increase of retirement age from 60 years to 65 years and service years from 35 to 40 years (whichever comes first), among several others.
“The organized labour is fully in support of your administration’s commitment to the development of Edo State and we call on workers in the state to come out en masse on Saturday, March 18, to vote for the governor’s party, PDP. This is so that he can continue the good works he has been doing for workers in Edo State.”
On his part, the Edo TUC chairman, Comr. Aigbomwanhi James, commended the governor for the construction of the Labour House, among other projects, reassuring the union’s support for PDP candidates.
Also, State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Pullen Noruwa, noted, “It was when Governor Obaseki came into office that all the entitlements of pensioners were received which is unprecedented in the state in less than a year.
“The pension arrears of over N4 billion was paid, monthly pension comes before 26th of each month with no arrears accumulated for all retired civil/public servants. Governor Obaseki met a 6 percent increase in 2003, 15 percent in 2007, and 33 percent in 2010 and implemented them, and today pensioners are enjoying the same.”