Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade, on Monday, May 1st, 2023 said the lifting of the ban on the promotion of civil and public servants in the State, among other policy issues, is intended to boost the productivity of workers.

Recall that a statement signed by the Head of Service Timothy Akwaji on the 25th of April, 2023, stated that the embargo on promotions in the state has been lifted from 2016 to 2023, to enhance productivity in the State’s civil and public service.

Addressing Cross River State Workers during the May Day Parade at the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar, Governor Ben Ayade, who spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Tina Agbor said so much premium has been placed on the workforce due to the cordial working relationship between workers and the administration.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the State, Comrade Gregory Olayi, who highlighted some challenges in the state’s workforce, said workers need to unite.

Olayi also welcomed observations from any Cross River workers that will lead the state in a different trajectory.

On his part, the State Trade Union Congress (TUC) Chairman, Comrade Monday Ogbodum said the 2023 Workers’ Day theme: ‘Workers Rights and Socio-Economic Justice’ is apt, adding that it was carefully coined to capture worker’s plights.

While noting that worker’s rights must be protected at all cost, Ogbodum urged the incoming government to be workers friendly and make workers’ welfare in the state a priority.

Also present at the event which saw 36 unions across the state take part in the May Day Parade were the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Eteng Williams; the State Head of Service, Timothy Akwaji, amongst others.

Meanwhile, Cross River State Governor-Elect Bassey Otu has described workers as “the most important factor of production and engine room of all governments”, saying his administration will ensure that all genuine interests of workers in the State are properly addressed, as captured in his Manifesto.

In a Worker’s Day Message he personally signed on Monday, May 1, Otu who said he understands the struggles and concerns of workers, also reassured that his administration will work with the leadership of the NLC, the TUC and all labour leaders and organizations to provide a comfortable, well trained 21st century workforce.

Correspondingly, Organised Labour has demanded the review of retirement age for all public servants from 60 to 65 years and from 35 years to 40 years of service.

The Organised Labour made the demand during this year’s Workers’ Day Celebration, which saw past and present leaders of the NLC and the TUC as well as those of other affiliate unions converge on the Eagle Square Abuja in commemoration of the 2023 May Day Celebration.

While demanding that an independent panel be set up to investigate INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu and his team over their conduct in the 2023 general elections, the body demanded an investigation into the sending of 12 billion naira by the Ministry of Aviation to buy ten fire trucks.

Reporter & Editor – Bassey Ebingha

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