By Jude Atupulazi
Anambra Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, has called on the state’s workforce to resume working full time from Monday to Friday to justify the full pay they receive, noting that it is unfair that government pays 100 percent of workers’ salary only to get 70-80 percent of their work time in return.
Surprised at the large turnout of workers at this year’s May Day Rally, May 1, which fell on a Monday, the governor said it appeared that Monday sit-at-home had become an excuse for workers to avoid work.
The governor stated this while responding to the speeches made by the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Humphrey Emeka Nwafor, and the Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Chris Ogbonna, at the 2023 Workers’ Day event held at Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka.
Though Governor Soludo acknowledged the importance of the formal sector which NLC and TUC represent, he noted that they constituted a small part of the entire workforce in Anambra State.
Noting that the informal sector where different categories of self-employed workers belonged, were more in number, Soludo said that in spite of the dwindling revenue, the pensions and gratuities from 2018 which he inherited were presently being paid while those that retired within the life of his administration had been paid their gratuities and pensions. The Governor disclosed that subsequently, workers’ pension deductions would be managed by a professional firm so that on retirement, the retirees would not have to wait for government to collect their pensions.
He reminded the workers that when some states could not pay salaries, his government, in addition to prompt payment of their monthly salaries went a step further to increase their salaries by 10 percent.
The Governor assured the workers that those who deserved to be promoted would get their promotions.
He further stressed the need for the workforce to be continually trained and retrained to be in tune with contemporary practices. This was even as he informed them that 10,000 people were being trained on different digital skills.