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NLC hails Ugwuanyi over prompt wage payments …as governor urges revival of mines on anniversary of Iva Valley massacre

By The Citizen
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The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has paid glowing tributes on

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for prioritizing the welfare of workers in

Enugu State and ensuring their wages are paid regularly.

This commendation came few days after a survey by the data company,

BudgIT, indicating that Enugu, alongside Lagos and Rivers, are the

only states currently able to meet recurrent needs.

The workers spoke during a solidarity rally organized to commemorate

the anniversary of the colonial government’s slaying of 21 workers who

were agitating for better working conditions on November 18, 1949, at

the Iva Valley Coal Mine, in Enugu.
NLC’s head of Industrial Relations and Organizing department, Comrade

Emmanuel Ugboajah, who represented the body’s national president noted

that it’s on account of this history that Enugu holds a special place

in the annals of trade unionism in Nigeria. “It’s instructive that on

the eve of our coming here to commemorate that shedding of blood for

workers to be emancipated and have decent lives, Enugu State received

solid accolades as one of three states that is regular in taking care

of basic responsibilities like payment of salaries and sundry workers

issues.
“So it was refreshingly heartwarming for us that the labours of our

heroes past are not in vain particularly in Enugu State,” he said,

adding that it’s ironic that states that were better endowed are

defaulting with regard to this obligation.
He noted that having found the “magic wand” in the prudent management

of resources and ensuring workers receive their due, the governor

should endeavour to share same with colleagues at the national level

because “injury to one is injury to all.”

“We still say kudos to the governor and urge him not to drop his cards

and to keep the flag flying,” he said.
Governor Ugwuanyi, represented by the commissioner of labour and

productivity Barrister Emeka Okeke, enjoined the workers to use the

commemoration of the coal miners’ sacrifice made 67 years ago to work

diligently to preserve and promote the ideals they fought for across

in the country.
The governor observed that it is “indeed sad to observe that the coal

mines where it all started; which provided our heroes the platform to

stand in exceptional gallantry, to say no to injustice and oppression

and from where the former mainstay of the national economy was

produced, have all been abandoned.”
He nonetheless expressed hope that with diversification as the new

national mantra as a result of the negative developments in the oil

sector, that the coal mines of Enugu will be restored and coal will

once again become a major revenue resource for the country and a

catalyst for socio-economic development.