The attention of the Government of Anambra State has been drawn to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) which listed Anambra as one of the states owing arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuities. The inclusion of Anambra State on that list is incorrect, misleading.
For the avoidance of doubt, Anambra State is not owing workers’ salaries, pensions and gratuities. On the contrary, since the inception of the Obiano administration, Anambra has been more alive to its obligation to workers including retirees and pensioners.
Chief Willie Obiano, Anambra State governor
It is on record for instance, that in year 2015, when the nation’s economy was sliding into recession, Anambra was the only state in the federation that increased the salaries of its workers. It is also a known fact that since the inception of the Governor Willie Obiano administration in Anambra State, workers’ salaries have never waited one day longer than the scheduled 25th day of every month when every employee of the government receives their salary alert.
Indeed, it is imperative to mention that right from inception, the Obianoadministration has been particularly attentive to the plight of workers.
It must be recalled that four months after assuming office, Governor Obiano paid the arrears of pension and gratuity amounting to N940m owed Local Government pensioners in the state. He followed this up with the clearance of the N1.9bn arrears of salaries owed Water Corporation and ANSEPA staff by the past administration for 8 years.
Similarly, the retirees of National Light, the state’s newspaper publishing housewhose pensions had been in arrears since the state was created 26 years ago were paid last week.
Continuing this tradition of humane treatment of the workers, Governor Obiano has promised to increase the salaries of Anambra workers next year once the AnambraState House of Assembly approves the 2018 Budget.
In appreciation of all the friendly gestures of the Obiano administration towards workers, members of the organized Labour in the state have unanimously endorsedthe governor’s second term bid. They did that during the activities marking this year’s celebration of the Workers’ Day. In endorsing Governor Obiano’s second term bid, the workers recalled that even in the midst of recession, the governor had never failed in his promise to ensure a prompt payment of salaries and had thereby earned the nickname “the Alert Governor.”
To finally crown his endorsement and underscore his overwhelming acceptance by all the workers, they honoured him with the award of “The Best Labour Friendly Governor of Anambra State” which automatically placed him ahead of all his predecessors in labour relations.
This is the truthful and factual account of the cordial relationship between the Government of Anambra State under His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano and the workers of Anambra State. We hope that we have set the records straight with this narrative.
Ogbuefi Tony Nnachetta
Hon Commissioner for Information & Communication Strategy