Local government workers in Imo State would soon have a secretariat they can call their own as the Comrade Ambrose Onuoha- led state executive of the National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE. said the secretariat complex started two years ago would soon be commissioned.
The secretariat, the first to be built by any state executive of the NULGE which according to the State Chairman, Comrade Onuoha is the second biggest affiliate union of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC in the state has so far gulped about N50 million naira.
The state chairman who disclosed this on Sunday, May 1, 2016, while briefing newsmen as part of activities lined up by his executive to mark this year’s Workers Day stated that beyond the ultra-modern secretariat, his administration has also registered other landmark projects that have made the union the envy of other trade unions within and outside the state.
He highlighted these to include the purchase of seven new official vehicles as stipulated by the union’s law, construction of modern regional water scheme and acquisition of hundreds of plastic chairs for the hosting of the body’s activities and programmes.
Comrade Onuoha debunked insinuations which he alleged emanated from petitions written by some faceless individuals that he borrowed a whopping N400 million for the projects being executed, pointing out that before he assumed office, NULGE never had bank accounts or any collaterals for that matter to convince a bank to lead it to such huge sum of money.
He said contrary to falsehood of the faceless detractors, his executive has used only the three percent check-off dues of NULGE members in the state in building all the projects, stressing that they have succeeded so far because, resources are being managed transparently, prudently and accountably.
Speaking on the 70-30 percent agreement which the Organized Labour reached with the State Government in the wake of workers protest in the state, the NULGE boss stated that the leadership of Labour never re-negotiated the salary of workers in the state, rather agreed to take 70 percent of all revenues accruing to the state for payment of salaries ,adding however that the total cash received in January fell short of the 4.1 billion wage bill hence, the less than 100 percent salary received by workers.
He posited that the leadership of Labour took that route to save the over 6,000 jobs that were on the line in the state parastatals, pointing out that they were convinced things would improve one day and every worker would be happy again, instead of allowing the sack of such number at this time of serious economic downturn.
The chairman bemoaned what he called the bad shape of local Councils of the state and their workers whom he said were the golden hens that lay the golden eggs which other sectors eat but which have continued to suffer neglect and abandonment as all allowances and even impress due to them, have always been denied them despite approach from the governor and the payment of same to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDA’s of government.