There was jubilation in Enugu State, yesterday, as civil servants marched through the streets to the Government House to thank Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for paying them the new minimum wage without rancour.
The workers were led by the leadership of the organised labour, comprising the state chairmen of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Virginus Nwobodo, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Benneth Asogwa and of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Igbokwe Chukwuma Igbokwe as they marched from the State Secretariat in GRA, through Garden Avenue, Ogui road and Bisala down to Government House at Independence Layout. It was such an emotional event as the workers sang solidarity songs thanking Governor Ugwuanyi for paying them the agreed new minimum wage during the weekend.
They displayed banners and placards with inscriptions such as: “Enugu state workers say thank You His Excellency for the new minimum wage.”
“Gburus, Enugu workers say thank you for regular payment of salaries”, “Gburus, thank you for giving us new minimum wage without stress.” “Thank you for regular payment of monthly pensions.” “Gburus, you are a pacesetter.” “You are our man.”
Nwobodo, chairman of NLC, told Governor Ugwuanyi “Enugu workers are very happy and delighted that this is the first time since the inception of democracy in 1999 that a governor paid us a new minimum wage without any crisis, stress or industrial action.
Today is a special day in the history of Enugu because there is no worker that did not benefit from Ugwuanyi’s alert, and that is why we are singing now.”
Asogwa of the TUC lauded Ugwuanyi’s numerous interventions in the welfare of workers, such as the 100 units of one-bedroom flats for civil servants between grade levels 01-10, regular payment of salaries and pensions and the payment of 13th month salary.
Chairman of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Igbokwe, said: “What is happening here today is the first in this country as far as the implementation of minimum wage is concerned. The joy in the hearts of the workers today is overwhelming.”
Governor Ugwuanyi thanked the workers for their support, solidarity and appreciation in respect of the implementation of the new minimum wage in the state.