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