Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba has described Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State as a forthright leader who does not pay lip service to any agreement reached with labour.
Comrade Wabba, according to a press release signed by the Governor’s media aide, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, gave the commendation, in Yenagoa, while delivering a goodwill message at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council.
The NLC leader noted that the Governor’s utterances and actions over issues bordering on government-labour relations, speak volumes of his understanding of the dynamics of collective bargaining and respect for the rule of law.
While thanking the state government for playing host to the Joint Negotiating Council meeting for two consecutive times, Wabba expressed optimism that Dickson would be among the first governors to approve the payment of the new minimum wage when it is passed into law.
“In the public sector, collective bargaining agreements have been heavily politicised as a perspective to political correctness, devoid of genuine interest in welfare of workers.
“This is the reason many states are still owing workers salaries and pensioners’ allowances for gratuity and pensions.I want to lastly thank His Excellency, for what he did during the last payment of the Paris Club Refund because we made a case to the Presidency that despite the funds you have released these funds have not made impact.
“Therefore the President authorised that the CBN should not pay until there is a liaison between NLC and the CBN and state governments.I must say that His Excellency, Governor Dickson was one of the first to allow the state council to have a written agreement which was transmitted to us and that is being respected. I must thank you immensely for honouring an agreement that was made in a gentleman manner.”
In an address, the Chairman of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council and Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office, Federal Civil Service, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, also gave kudos to Governor Dickson for his efforts at maintaining industrial harmony in the state.
Mrs. Walson-Jack who also appreciated the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita for her commitment to the welfare of civil servants, called on government and trade unions to continuously collaborate and embrace the principles of collective bargaining and mutual respect at all meetings.
Her words, “His Excellency, the Governor Henry Seriake Dickson is a man of his words. His uncommon commitment to the welfare of public servants in Nigeria has been demonstrated once again in his provision of excellent facilities and logistics to ensure a conducive environment for the success of this meeting.”
Governor Dickson while declaring the meeting open acknowledged the contributions of public servants towards policy implementation and national development.
According to him the comprehensive public service reforms initiated and implemented by the present administration had provided the enabling environment for the state government to employ fresh hands especially graduates to enhance productivity and service delivery.