By NBF News

Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who was re-elected for a second term at the April 26 gubernatorial poll, has assured workers of the readiness of his administration to implement the new minimum wage of N18, 000.

The governor in his May Day address, read on his behalf by his deputy, Professor Amos Utuama (SAN) told the workers at the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) joint rally in Asaba yesterday that once guidelines were worked out for the new minimum wage, he would start implementing it. 'The issue of N18,000 minimum wage has already become a law and we have approved it in principle but we are awaiting the necessary guidelines for its implementation.

'We have largely kept our promises to our workers, having implemented promotion packages, employed new workers where necessary and paid salaries and allowances as at when due. 'We have fully implemented all salary structures, which include those of medical and health workers, the judiciary, colleges of education, polytechnics and universities and the main civil service. We will not let workers down, believing that a worker is entitled to his wages.

'Despite the tight financial environment under which we are operating, we will continue to meet our obligations to the workers of Delta State as at when due. All we expect from you in return is greater dedication, patience and loyalty to the government.' Uduaghan observed that his administration, besides the major projects like the Asaba International Airport and the various road dualisation, was steadily marching to its vision of creating a virile and strong Delta State that could survive without the vagaries in the international oil market.

The governor noted that the workers had huge roles to play in nurturing and sustaining the dreams and aspirations of the state government. 'You are the engine room of administrative procedures and the bureaucracy. It behoves you to undertake re-orientation to be able to render services in line with the new vision of the state.'

Delta State Chairman of the NLC, Mike Akosu, promied that his team was prepared to co-operate with the state government and not only increase output but ensure efficient service delivery. He also tasked the government to see to the numerous problems bedeviling workers in the state.

The State NLC boss assured the governor that the union would use dialogue in pressing home labour issues as it believed in peace and harmony. 'We will try to avoid strike action and use dialogue so as to ensure peace,' Akosu said.