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Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah has announced cash awards of between ₦10,000 and ₦25,000 to the state workers up until April 2024 while also assuring that the new minimum wage negotiation would soon be concluded.
Mbah stated that the happiness of his employees remained the top focus of his government since he could not achieve his magnificent ambitions for Enugu without a contented workforce.
The governor also announced that his administration has increased the state social register enrolment from 43,000 to 260,000, promising to lift more indigent citizens through cash transfers and other social interventions.
He disclosed these during a joint media briefing with the state’s labour leaders at the Government House, Enugu, yesterday.
He stated the administration was also making other social interventions apart from the cash transfer to better the lives of the state’s workers.
‘As you may be aware, since the removal of the petroleum subsidy, we have been in constant negotiation with the labour unions in the state, crafting a way forward on how we can provide palliatives to our teeming workforce.
‘So, by the time you put a monetary value to all the social services we have provided, it will weigh well above N100,000 minimum wage.
‘But in addition to that, with effect from next month (December), we are going to also make a flat payment to all categories of our workers, beginning from our local government to the primary and secondary school teachers, and civil servants. We are going to categorise them and there will be flat payment of between N10,000 and 25,000, depending on the category. That payment is going to continue till April.
‘Our hope is that by the end of April, the committee that is reviewing the minimum wage would have come out with what would then become the new minimum wage in the state. So, from there, we are just going to carry on the implementation of what is then set as the minimum wage’, he stated.
Governor Mbah reiterated the determination of his administration to achieve zero per cent poverty headcount index by 2031, saying the state had set aside N1.5 billion for social development programmes like water and sanitation in the communities in addition to constructing 260 model primary healthcare centers and 260 smart schools with accompanying teachers’ quarters.
‘Importantly, the state is just concluding the update of our social register. We have now expanded our social register from 43,000 to accommodate up to 260,000 indigent people in our state. That is also a platform that we are going to use to do cash transfers to engage our indigent ones,’ he added.
In their reactions, the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Fabian Nwigbo and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Comrade Benneth Asogwa, thanked the governor for his proactive steps towards the welfare of Enugu workers, saying they were happy that Enugu workers did not have to lobby, protest, or embark on strike to have their salaries and welfares addressed.