By Ikeugonna Eleke
Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano plans to pay workers’ salaries on the 15th of December.
Obiano made the announcement last Friday at an event to mark the 7th quadrennial state delegates’ conference of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).
Obiano who was represented by the Head of Service, Barr Harry Uduh, said he was worker-friendly governor which they could attest to.
‘Today is November 29th, and I am sure all of you seated in this hall have received your salaries. It will continue to be so,’ he said.
He said he had made arrangements for the Christmas for the workers, expressing the hope that they had started collecting their Christmas rice.
He said he had also made arrangements to pay December salaries on the 15th of December to enable workers to plan early enough for their Christmas, even as he promised that their leave allowances would also accompany it.
The announcement of the early salary payment had however elicited mixed reactions. While some of the workers hailed the governor for the gesture, others openly grumbled, shouting no to the plan.
A local government worker, Mrs Uju Okoronkwo, who spoke with Fides, protested the early payment, saying it would also cause them to exhaust the money before the next salary in January.
‘How much are we even talking about,’ she queried. ‘Is it not this small money? This method of paying us on 25th is still the best. They should rather think of implementing the new minimum wage,’ she said.
Speaking about the implementation of the new minimum wage, Uduh assured that their expectations were not misplaced. He said that Obiano was among the first governors to make a pronouncement at a time when some governors were still contemplating whether to pay or not.
Uduh said the Governor did so because he was already contemplating an increase before the people increased.
‘He has already taken his time to mainstream the minimum wage into the 2020 budget. I can tell you that when you meet him, he may surpass your expectations of the N30, 000 announced by the federal government,’ Uduh disclosed.
The quadrennial conference will elect new executives for the NULGE, ending the 10-year reign of the outgoing state president of the union, Mr Jerry Nnubia.