The issue of the implementation of the New National Minimum Wage in Akwa Ibom State has finally been laid to rest.
This follows the signing of an Agreement between the leadership of the Organised Labour in the State led by the Chairman of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Committee, Comrade Tina Essien and the Government side led by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem and the Head of the Civil Service/Chairman of the New Minimum Wage Implementation Committee in the State, Elder Effiong Essien.
Speaking at the occasion, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, expressed appreciation to the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for his sincere concern for the welfare of workers as demonstrated in the various welfare packages and the approval for the implementation of the New Minimum Wage in line with the Federal Government approved consequential adjustment percentages increase.
Dr. Ekuwem also commended the Organized Labour for the maturity and understanding demonstrated during the period of the negotiation.
Also speaking, the Head of Civil Service, who is also the Chairman of the New Minimum Wage Implementation Committee in the State, Elder Effiong Essien, also thanked the State Governor for approving the implementation of the new wage in the State.
He commended the Secretary to the State Government for his fatherly role while the negotiation lasted and the Organised Labour and Workers for their understanding and cooperation.
In their separate remarks, the Chairperson of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Sunny James, the Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Dominic Abang, the Chairman, Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Comrade Tina Essien and her Secretary, Comrade Akamba Awa, and the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Anestina Iweh, thanked the State Government for being sensitive to the plight of the Civil Servants by approving the implementation of the new minimum wage in the State.
The Union leaders acknowledged that with the approval for the payment of the new Minimum Wage, Akwa Ibom Workers will also enjoy the benefits of the New Minimum Wage Law as their counterparts in other states of the Federation.
They pledged their continued support and co-operation to the Governor Udom Emmanuel-led Administration and expressed the hope that other pending issues shall be handled subsequently.
The signed Agreement shall be formally presented to the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, soon.
Present during the meeting were the Commissioner for Labour and Manpower Planning, Prof. Victor Inoka, Acting Secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Iboro Ibara, Secretary, Trade Union Congress, Comrade Sam Umiom, the Solicitor-General/Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Barr. Uduak Eyonsa, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Head of Civil Service, Mrs. Ekaette Ekanem, her counterparts in the Local Government Service Commission, Mrs. Mfonobong Okim, Ministry of Economic Development/Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr. Effiong Ekpenyong, as well as that of the Department of Establishments, Mrs. Beatrice Udoinyang.
Others were, the Head of Budget, Mr. Otu Asuquo, Director of Labour, Ministry of Labour and Manpower Planning, Mr. Abasifreke Ikpe, Assistant Director, Administration & Supplies, Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Mary Ekaette and Mr. Ifiok Ibanga, an Assistant Director in the State Civil Service.