Since 2015, when the All Progressives Congress (APC) took over power at the federal level and the economy nose-dived into recession, the Nigerian Workers have been toiling like elephants and eating like ants, says a civil servant who preferred anonymity.
it will be recalled that the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan raised the minimum wage from N6000 to N18,000, making it possible for civil servants to have something close to a take home pay.
However, after the recession began with the President Muhammadu Buhari era, rice, beans, garri and other basic needs at homes, sky-nocketed in prices, the minimum wage could no longer take workers home.
Majority of states have been unable to pay salaries for months and the federal government had to approve a bail out fund for them to be able to even pay the backlog of a few months.
In Akwa Ibom State one of the key achievements of the Present administration which every government officials advertises is that the Gov Udom’s administration’s ability to pay salaries at least at the state level. But is this all the workers are seeking for?
Reacting to the state of the Akwa Ibom Worker presently, a Senior Civil Servant in the state who preferred anonymity told The Sensor yesterday that workers in the state, nay Akwa Ibom had resorted to prayers for divine assistance.
According to our source, “There is disintest among the workers in Akwa Ibom State as far as the celebration is concerned; and I think that the same applies to all workers in Nigeria. Honestly, things are really hard for workers because of the recession in the economy.
On the welfare of workers in the Udom’s dispensation, our source said “well for paying salaries of workers and for paying some part of the pension of retired workers, I can give the governor 49%. But I am concerned that the governor has so far denied some workers payment of wardrobe allowance and this applies to even those who work directly with him. The payment of salaries is not just enough.
Allowances should also be paid because salary is no longer able to meet the basic needs of the civil servants and their families”
According to our source, the greatest problem of Gov. Udom Emmanuel is those working closely with him, noting that “There are a lot of sycophants around him who are only interested in filling their stomachs and would never tell the governor the truth about things.
Although the NLC chairman in Akwa Ibom State, Comrade Etim Ukpong did not respond to calls sent to his mobile phone by our reporter who wanted to feel the pulse of the workers of the state as the workers day is celebrated today, majority of workers in the state who preferred anonymity told our reporter that there is nothing to celebrate on this Workers Day.
According to them they, are now living from hand to mouth and cannot meet their basic needs.
They called on the leadership of the NLC at the federal and state levels to begin to take steps to making government raise their wages and offer them improved working conditions.