Akwa Ibom state, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has announced plans to commence low cost housing scheme in the state for civil servants, even as the workers have assured him of their support for a second term.
Governor Emmanuel who said that he was working towards breaking the jinx where civil servants retired before planning to own houses with their terminal benefits, explained that he was working out “an extremely affordable housing scheme for all his workers.”
The Governor who spoke during the May Day celebration jointly organized by the State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the Uyo township stadium, said he had already acquired land and would use a public-private partnership scheme to finance it.
Gov. Emmanuel described the labour force in the state as partners in progress, working harmoniously with government to bring democracy ‘bacons’ to the people, adding that his government would soon commission an electricity sub-station in Uyo funded solely by his administration to boost power supply in the state and reduce tariff on consumers.
Expressing his gratitude to workers, he said “we have covered many miles with glittering milestones” in the last two years through the active support and co-operation of workers in the state… “Today, we are happy that we may not owe you salaries but we owe you gratitude.”
He assured that backlogs of promotion arrears would soon be paid, saying that his government had previously cleared backlog of local government gratuities of over 10years.
He commended the leaders of the labour unions, saying they have been working with him actively in the interest of the Akwa Ibom project, while assuring that his government would not relent in providing programmes that would give value to the wages of workers, and improve their standard of living.
The Governor described workers as the veins and arteries that have circulated development programmes across the state, saying the premium on their importance accounted for his cancellation of all engagements to personally attend the rally.
He also announced that he was ready to unveil a complete new look repositioned General Hospital in Etinan this month , saying that his administration was ready to completely advance facilities in secondary health centres across the state to meet the affordable health care delivery of the people.
He also said his industrialization drive in the state was on course, adding that the electricity metering project, the syringe manufacturing company, 60,000 capacity flour mill, would soon be completed and their workers would participate in the May Day celebration of 2018.
Gov. Emmanuel also assured that teachers and other categories of workers for recruitment in the state would be appointed strictly on merit, and given equal opportunity to prove himself or herself. “Let People be reassured that it is purely on merit not by mercy,” he said.
He urged the workers to display passion for service and reach out to impact on the lives of others in need.
Presenting a solidarity message to the workers on behalf of the state legislature, the speaker, Barr. Onofiok Luke, acknowledged the supportive role played by Akwa Ibom state workers in the development of the state, and re-affirmed the commitment of the 6th Assembly in supporting the good governance in the state.
Barr. Luke said the House would continually serve as a bridge between government and the people through an open legislation that revolved around the people.
He urged them to continue to show support to the government of Mr. Emmanuel, adding that the “Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly will always collaborate with other arms of government to bring dividends of democracy to Akwa Ibom people”.
The Chairpersons TUC, Comrade Akamba Awah, and NLC, Mr. Etim Ukpong, in their separate messages commended Governor Emmanuel for being a listening governor and for his efforts at putting smiles on the faces of workers.
They expressed their willingness to encourage Governor Emmanuel to re-contest and continue for another term in office because of his workers –friendly disposition.
They urged lawmakers in the country to rise in support of the implementation of the new minimum wage for workers due to the high cost of living in the Nigeria.