Workers will continue to enjoy better welfare package – Mbah

Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State has reassured the state civil and public servants of continuous better welfare package under his administration, saying emphasis has now shifted from work attendance to productivity in order to achieve a sustainable economy, make the state an investment hub and actualize the proposed $30 billion gross domestic product.

Mbah, who gave this assurance, Friday, in Enugu, during the grand finale of the 2023 Enugu State Civil Week, lauded the workers for their professionalism and for keying into the vision of the administration by their cooperation and team spirit.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Chidiebere Onyia, Mbah further noted that the achievements the administration had recorded over the past 200 days were enabled by their resilient spirit, partnership with the authority and commitment to deliver.

“The Governor wants me to remind you that without your level of professionalism, it will be very difficult to achieve what we have set out to do. On this note, he asked me to remind you that the professionalism he has seen in his first 200 days in office should continue to be reflected in the next 4 years,” he said.

Speaking on the significance of the theme of civil service week, “Innovating the Future Public Service: New Government Model for a New Era to Reach the SDGs,” the governor said his administration was intentional in meeting the demands and needs of workers which included enabling a conducive working environment, incentives, training and increment of salaries and emoluments, saying such gestures were to ensure optimal productivity that would take the state to the next level of development.

“One of the demands that had been an issue for years was that there was no power at the secretariat, and that they would like to have a conducive working environment to be able to do their work as professionals. I am happy that the Head of Service has announced that there is now power restored at the secretariat building.

“The second thing that we talked about was the issue of providing security and ensuring that the lives of Enugu citizens are sacrosanct in our push to grow the economy. I am happy to announce that since His Excellency came into office and abolished the sit-at-home order, there has been no insecurity incident in Enugu till today, 200 days in office.

“The third thing is the improvement in the welfare of workers. I am here to announce that His Excellency has approved the promotion of workers that are due, and the process has begun. In addition to that, a couple of days back, he approved the N25,000 and N10,000 wage bill increase for state and local government workers respectively, one of the states that has made that effort in Nigeria,” he added.

According to him, the administration is keen on changing the narrative through technology and innovation, saying “I am also happy to announce that our effort to digitalize our public service system is ongoing. Most of you know that we have started the e-governance model, which aligns with this year’s celebration; innovating the future of public service. We have started with the Ministry of Lands and all the MDAs are going to start the first step of digitalisation, backing up all our data, and digitalising the process, where for instance, in the Ministry of Lands, it will not take more than 48 hours from the time of application to receiving a Certificate of Occupancy in Enugu State.”

He explained that for the state to achieve its target $30 billion GDP, eradicate poverty, make the state an investment destination, deliberate steps of focusing on productivity rather than attendance to office only must take shape, noting that 70% of the 2024 budget was earmarked for infrastructure that would improve the state and make it attractive to investors.

Speaking earlier, the Head of Service, Mr. Ken Ugwu, said the theme of the event was in line with the governance philosophy of the Mbah administration which was modeled towards disrupting the status quo through innovation that would birth the future service that would face the challenges of modern governance.

He appreciated the governor for his intervention in all the spectrums of the critical institutions that have enabled rapid transformation and development, maintaining that uninterrupted power had been restored to most of the state facilities.

He listed the achievements of the current administration as including the ongoing construction of 260 smart schools across the state that would be free for their children, ongoing construction of 260 primary healthcare centres, automation of all the MDAs that would soon be completed, construction of roads, provision of 120 million litres of water daily within 180 days, provision of maximum security across the state, payment of pensions to all the retired state civil servants, including backlogs, approval of promotions for qualified workers and the recent wage award to all the members of staff in the state.

He also reiterated the commitment of the workers toward achieving the programmes and policies of the administration.