Leading Abia governorship contender, Prof Gregory Ibe, has vowed to implement comprehensive public service reforms in order to enhance the conditions of service while improving the general welfare package of workers in the state if elected governor of the state in the 2023 general elections.
Speaking through a labour day message made available to journalists in Umuahia, Prof Ibe, praised the enterprising spirit of the Abia workers who he described as “resilient, focused and committed”, pledging to partner the organized private sector in formulating strategic policies that will help in fashioning out more job opportunities for Abia youths as a way of curbing the current high rate of unemployment in the state.
The message reads in part, “On this auspicious occasion of commemoration of International Labor Day, I want to specially recognise and celebrate the dogged and enterprising spirit of the Abia Worker, who in spite of the prevailing harsh economic environment has remained resilient, focused and committed, thereby contributing immensely to stabilizing the polity”.
According to him,” If by the special grace of God and will of the people I emerge governor in 2023, part of the initial undertakings of our government shall be the implementation of a comprehensive reform of the public service geared towards making the sector proactive, efficient and effective.
Deploying the cognate experience and exposure I garnered while working as lead consultant to the federal civil service during the Fourth Republic, under President Olusegun Obasanjo, we shall restore the dignity of labour while making the public service engaging, productive and rewarding”.
He said further, ”Against the backdrop of the alarming unemployment rate of 50.07% for Abia State as contained in the National Bureau of Statistics report of 2020, we shall adopt the Demand-Led Approach in tackling this problem by leveraging my academic and professional background as professor of entrepreneurial science to identify the skills needs of employers in both public and private sectors, with the aim of training and empowering our youths to sufficiently fill such gaps”.
The university don and Ivory Tower proprietor particularly appreciated the Abia State chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress(NUC) and Trade Union Congress(TUC) for singling him out among the distinguished persons selected for conferment of special recognition during this year celebration of Worker’s Day and dedicated the awards to Abia Pensioners.
In his words,”I want to specially appreciate the Abia State chapters of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) for choosing to confer honors on me during this year’s commemoration of Workers Day.
“In sympathy with Abia pensioners who recently publicly protested 38-months arrears of unpaid entitlements, I hereby dedicate the awards to them. I want to assure them that I feel their pain while working to deploy our reform template in resolving the pension issue permanently, if by God’s grace and the peoples mandate I become governor in 2023”.
He therefore enjoined workers in the state to shun political apathy by ensuring the emergence of people with verifiable track record of competence, love and passion for the wellbeing of the citizenry, in positions of leadership, by obtaining their Permanent Voters Cards, embarking on voter advocacy and actively participating in the electoral process, asserting that “with God, a brand new Abia powered by a reformed and viable workforce is possible”.
Celebrated annually on 1st May, the International Labour Day is a special day set aside to recognise and commemorate the struggles and contributions of workers across the globe.
The Federal Government has already declared Monday 2nd May as public holiday, to mark the 2022 edition of Workers Day.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.