Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

By Eseoghene Emuke

Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, on Tuesday gave signals of hope for suspended civil servants employed at the twilight of the administration of former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.

Okowa said his administration will consider recalling Deltans among the over 3,000 civil servants who were suspended in 2015 by his government in the next one month.

The governor gave the assurance when the new Executive Council of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state visited him in Asaba on Tuesday.

He stated that he had directed the Head of Service and the Civil Service Commission to look into the case of the suspended employment and identify the Deltans among the persons.

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According to him, Head of Service and the Civil Service Commission will do a need assessment for the state and within the next one month, those qualified would be recalled.

He said, “We need more than the 1, 000 teachers that we have engaged and when we look at their entitlements, we will engage more.

“We are also engaging 100 Extension Officers to give a boost to our drive in the agriculture sector which will ensure food sufficiency, and generate employment for our people.

“From the employment of the teachers, you will observe that quality persons were engaged to teach our children.

“The very best were taken because, in our employment drive, we are not only looking at the qualified persons but, those who have the knowledge to teach our children in the critical areas.”

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Okowa, while congratulating the new NLC executive in the state, assured that his administration would continue to partner organized labour to ensure a progressive state.

“I am ready to stay in partnership with the NLC, because you believe in partnership for results rather than agitation for results. There is a lot to be done in our state and we want to reassure you that we will continue to stay committed to providing infrastructure.

“We thank God and earnestly look forward to the inauguration of the Central Secretariat Complex in the early months of 2020, because it will help us with coordination and shared services.”

He said that his government was committed to the payment of the national minimum wage, adding that as “it concerns the contributory pension scheme, many states are shying away from it.

“But, it is a very good scheme that came with a lot of challenges; as a state we spend about N1.3 billion monthly on pensions whereas, there are states that have less than N1.3 billion as their total wage bill monthly.’’

Earlier, Chairman of NLC in the state, Comrade Goodluck Oforbruku, had said that the visit was to thank the governor for his support to organized labour and workers in the state.

Oforbruku said, “Our dear Governor, you have made workers to become landlords in Delta State; you have provided conducive work environment and you have approved the training and retraining of staff.

“Your commitment to the payment of minimum wage once the circular is released; your employment of 1, 000 teachers, payment of salaries and promotion of civil servants as and at when due, among others, deserve commendation.”

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