As workers across the Country celebrate this year’s May Day (Workers Day), Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, has praised the State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), for her commitment to industrial peace in the State.
Governor Bello gave the commendation in a message to the 2022 May Day Celebration held at the Muhammadu Buhari Civic Centre, Lokoja.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Folashade Ayoade, the Governor said thank Organized Labour in Kogi State for standing firm behind this administration since inception.
Governor pointed out that workers in the State have been doing their best in the discharge of their various duties, stressing that such has contributed immensely to the growth witnessed in the State.
He said his administration will continue to prioritize the welfare of workers in the State, noting that his administration will continue to do her best to ensure that workers are given the required recognition.
“I am delighted to join the Kogi State Councils of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) as well as all the hardworking and dedicated ones among our workers to commemorate another Workers Day
“This May Day, 2022 we express our gratitude to the Almighty God for life and the opportunity to engage in physical and mental work in our different offices and capacities even as we celebrate the dignity of all honest labour
“I wholeheartedly thank Organized Labour in Kogi State for standing firm and rock-solid behind this administration since inception. Your commitment to industrial peace has helped to stabilize our polity and brought us ongoing gains in security, unity and prosperity in our dear Kogi State
“Despite our many disagreements in principle, you and your leadership have placed the overall welfare of the people over any partisan interest. You are appreciated
“In return, I want to assure you all again that I will remain passionately committed to the welfare of our workers. Your issues and concerns will remain priorities to me. Together, the peace and cooperation we have achieved will continue to flourish and abound in our dear Kogi State” Governor Bello said.
He appreciated workers for adding value to the State through their commitment to work, saying that the State Government has no plan of retrenching workers in the State.
“We cannot overstate the value of the men and women whose productive work forms the bedrock of our drive for accelerated and proportional development of Kogi State in all her Constituencies, which is the core of our New Direction Blueprint in this Administration. I am therefore happy to be here in demonstration of my support for our workers and in solidarity with their interests and welfare
“I commend the labour unions in Nigeria for consistently defending and advancing the political, economic, and social rights of Nigerian workers, especially here in Kogi State. Government is your partner, not your antagonist, in this laudable work and it is my desire that we continue to forge a symbiotic relationship within which our workers and indeed all Kogites and their fellow citizens can thrive without barriers
“I wish to reiterate as strongly as I can that it is only fair to pay a worker promptly for his or her work. This is the philosophy behind me as I undertake the herculean task of ensuring that we pay our workers on or before the end of each month.
“This we have done, except in February of this year 2022 when we were forced to respond to abysmally poor inflows by demanding some sacrifice across the board, starting with me. I thank those in the workforce who graciously obliged us while for those who felt shortchanged, we can only offer our apologies
“I am also a staunch advocate of adequate pay for the worker, hence the speed with which my Administration made Kogi State one of the first in the Federation to adopt, and to commence the process of implementation, the new national minimum wage. Any hiccups experienced are clearing up even as we speak
“Although our workforce at State and Local Government levels are heavier than they ought to be due to reckless and unplanned recruitment under previous Administrations, I am still thankful that we have always managed to pay 100% of workers’ salaries at the State level since we ended our staff screening and verification exercise in 2018. Also, pensions are being paid promptly and the inherited backlogs of gratuity are gradually being cleared
“In the same vein we are doing our best to overcome the percentage salary payments which currently persist at Local Government levels and which is traceable to the challenges associated with the collision between low government inflow and a heavy wage-bill
“However, and in spite of the backbreaking financial burden we continue to bear, I am pleased to announce that contrary to the rumors out there, we are not considering the retrenchment of staff or rationalization of the workforce under any guise at this time” he reiterated.