Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has promised workers in the state of prompt payment of their salaries.
Speaking with labour union executives at the inauguration of a secretariat complex constructed by the state chapter of the Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria at Rumuagholu, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, on Saturday, the governor also pledged to pay workers their December salaries without delay.
Amaechi explained that such a step would be taken in order to allow workers go home and celebrate Christmas, pointing out that his administration had been labour-friendly.
He expressed sadness that federal allocations to states had depleted to the point that state governments had been struggling to pay workers, disclosing that a large chunk of state funds had gone into the payment of civil servants’ salaries and arrears.
The governor, however, stressed that despite the difficulties faced by his administration as a result of the current fund shortage, the state government had managed to ensure judicious expenditure on meaningful projects to meet the needs of the people.
He used the occasion to stress the need for the rotation of the governorship position among the various ethnic groups in the state to ensure justice and fair play.
The governor also emphasised his preparedness to steer the All Progressives Congress presidential election campaign to success in the 2015 elections, following his appointment as the Director General of the party’s presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign.
Amaechi said, “The political equation is no longer the same as it was in 2011. In 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan was our brother. We gave him our votes because he was our brother.
“Today, is he still our brother? My brother is the man who cares if I feed. Our President has lived all his life in Rivers State; let him show us one project he has done in Rivers State”.
He described the Jonathan administration as corrupt and inefficient, even as he accused the PDP-led administration of failing to implement the UNEP report for the clean-up of Ogoniland.
The governor noted that the Federal Government infrastructure in Rivers States, like the Eleme Petrochemicals were built by non-South-South leaders.
Earlier, the Chairperson of Health Workers Union in the state, Beatrice Itubo, had expressed gratitude to the governor for taking time out of his busy schedule to inaugurate the secretariat complex.
Itubo explained that Amaechi’s leadership drive had pushed her to conceive ideas to construct the modern state secretariat for medical and health workers in the state.