Workers Hail Okowa’s SMART Agenda as Governor Urges Adjustment to Economic Realities
NIGERIAN workers trouped out Sunday at their different state capitals to mark this year’s Workers Day with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State saying that with the dwindling revenue from the Federation Accounts, there was the need for workers to readjust to the present economic realities.
Addressing multitude of workers in Asaba who came out under the aegis of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Governor Okowa took time to tackle all the issues raised by the Union leaders and called for understanding in line with the current economic situation of the country.
“It is pertinent to note that most misunderstanding between government and workers stems mainly from breakdown in communication, which can often be resolved through dialogue and in this regard, I commend the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, including their affiliate unions in the State, for the sustained understanding and co-operation,” the Governor said.
“I need to remind all of us of the need to come to terms with the reality of our situation, especially of the dwindling federal revenue allocation.” He emphasised.
While stating that the financial realities has called for prudent management of funds, Governor Okowa asserted, “we should appreciate the fact that our obvious falling finances notwithstanding, this administration has done much in the areas of provision of qualitative education, effective healthcare service, urban renewal and roads construction among others; it is my hope and expectation that government will continue to enjoy the goodwill of workers in the steady march towards the achievement of our sustainable development objectives.”
The Governor who attended the May Day celebration with his Deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, members of the National Assembly, state House of Assembly and retinue of top government functionaries lauded the good relationship that exists between the NLC and TUC in the state, noting that such was good for the workers and government.
“The prevailing cordial industrial relations in the State have encouraged government to sustain its welfare and training programmes; let me assure you all of this administration’s policy of investment in the wellbeing and professional growth of workers through training and exposure to modern techniques,” the Governor stated.
Chairman of the NLC in the state, Comrade David Ofoeyeno who was represented by first vice chairman of the Union, Comrade Jonathan Jemiereyigbe assured Governor Okowa of the continued support of workers in the state saying, “let me on behalf of the organised labour in the state, express our profound appreciation to you for the giant strides your government has made so far in touching the lives of Deltans through your SMART agenda.”
He described the theme for this year’s celebration, “the working class and the quest for socio-economic revival’ as carefully selected to reflect the present situation of workers of this country find themselves,” while the Chairman of the TUC in the state, Comrade Lawson Efenudu said, ”the administration of Governor Okowa has performed creditably well in service delivery with regard to its SMART agenda of wealth creation and provision of enabling environment for investors through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement for the social and economic development of our dear state, most importantly, regular payment of worker’s salaries in the state public service which is a headache to many states in the country.”
The occasion featured march past by affiliate unions to NLC and TUC with Governor Okowa taking the salute.