Soludo raises Anambra workers’ pay by 10% and ensures employee welfare
Anambra State Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo CFR increased the wages of all civil personnel by 10%.
He also promised to give them a N15,000 bonus for Christmas.
The governor made the declaration at the 2022 Public Service Day celebration held at the Anambra Secretariat Complex in Awka.
“Performance Management System: Impact on the Nigerian Public Service” was the theme of the event.
“Given my own background as a worker, what we are not able to do for the working class, you must understand it is literally impossible,” Soludo reiterated.
“In the issue of Christmas rice, we reviewed how it’s done in the past. The cost of it is way beyond.
“I understand in previous years that past Government gave 25kg bag of rice to civil servants for Christmas.
“The state of Nigeria is bad. Everybody is complaining. Prices are rising very fast, I look at you and wonder how you cope.
“Today, 50kg bag of rice costs over N40,000. That’s beyond the salary of a graduate in the public service. Something is not right!
“What we will do instead, between today and tomorrow, we will first of all make sure that more than our 24000 pensioners are taken care of, to demonstrate good faith. I wish we could do much more but today, you will receive an alert of N15000 for Christmas bonus”, Soludo assured.
“The income is not increasing, the revenue of the government is not increasing. We cannot print money. What used to cost to power the Secretariat in an hour is three to four times what it costs before.
“I understand what you feel and wish that our revenue will go up so we can multiply it in proportion to Nigeria’s inflation.
“The Head of Service made a request for releasing funds to process promotion.
“We have made the budget for next year and it has been signed. Any new thing not in the budget can’t be done.
“I received a report a few days ago recommending minor adjustments in salaries. We will review it and see what is feasible”, Soludo stated.
“From February to date, NNPC has not remitted a dime to the federation account and our state of finances means we can’t do everything at the same time but, we have to prioritize that’s why we are collecting taxes.
“Next year, Lagos is expecting to collect 100 billion naira a month from IGR while Anambra is aiming at 3 billion naira. But I assure ndi Anambra that any money that comes into our hands, we will utilize them judiciously”, Soludo promised.
“Last year public service day, I was here to plead for your votes. Today, I have appeared to you as the Governor of this state. You employed me as your Chief servant and I am your employee.
“I thank you for your services to Anambra. I am the Chief Public Servant and without you, there will be no public service.
“Anything Government is delivering, we have 21 commissioners, the ministries and agencies. They constitute what is making Anambra to be what is it today. I commend all the ministries and staff of Anambra State Public Service.
“I congratulate the 33 selected awardees specially recognized but it doesn’t mean others aren’t working hard.
“I also commend the commissioners, Managing Directors and Head of Parastatals.
“I told the Head of Service that it is not within her remit to decide who did well or not. You can have that for people who are under you. You can’t tell me which commissioner did well. I needed to clarify that to avoid creating dysfunctionality within the Government because they are your colleagues.
“That aside, each ministry delivered something this year. We started our work on the 17th of March this year.
“We promised to create a liveable and prosperous homeland. This is our mission and you all shall deliver it. We delivered this message through the head of service.
“We are not supposed to be celebrating public service at this time of the year but I insisted, to thank you all for the year 2022 before we cross over into 2023”, Soludo said
“Our five fingers of Government includes; Security, law and order; Economic transformation, social agenda, reforming ways government works and environment.
“8 local governments were taken over by criminals when we came into power and we have taken over our land from criminals. We have driven them away from our bushes and forests.
“One mad man in Finland declared 5 days sit at home but in Anambra, the sit at home was not observed”, Soludo said.
“We will get back to work full scale, working 5 days in a week. When we work four days and our children go to school only four days, we won’t deliver the same thing as those who work for five days.
“We must take back our state otherwise, we are losing 20% each week. Security, law and order must come back fully into Anambra. Kidnappers and criminals must give way in our state.
“100% of those we have caught are Igbos but it must come to an end”, Soludo assured.
“We are launching regenerative agriculture, trying to get major industrial parks to work, we are signing MOU with EEDC to ensure there’s 24 hours provision of power especially in the three major cities of the state.
“Streetlights are coming back. It’s not possible to keep powering them with diesel now a litre is over N800. We are replacing them with solar because it is more sustainable and strategic.
“On the road, we declared a state of emergency because Anambra has a road crisis. We have awarded over 250km of roads.
“Within the next 24 months we must deliver and it will be unprecedented in the state. We have just been in the office for 9 months but things are happening.
“In our social agenda, we are ending the era of hospitals without doctors, nurses and consultants. We have recruited over 200 personnel in our general Hospitals.
“We handed appointment letters to 5000 teachers within 9 months of our regime. It is 100% merit based, openly transparent and we are looking for the best no matter where you come from. The interest of the child should be taught by the best teacher available and this is what we have set out to do.
“Teaching is a vocation and calling, it is not just a job! What we have done is unique in Anambra Teaching Service and I hope they have received their December salaries”, said Soludo.
“We celebrate our public servants most especially our teachers because everyone was taught by a teacher.
“5000 youths are currently undergoing various training, one youth two skill program and by next year, we will be dishing out several billions to empower them.
“In security, we have recruited vigilantes and empowered other security apparatus to keep Anambra safe”, Soludo said.
“We have a slogan, “cut all cutables and boycott all bycottables.” That is the way we are managing resources and that’s how we are paying the bills.
“When we came in, pensioners haven’t received their gratuities since 2018 but we thought it’s not the way to go. To watch these retirees work for over 30 years without gratuities, we felt it was painful.
“Under my watch, everyone that retired at the Anambra public service has been paid their gratuities as at 2018. We are doing the payments gradually to restore hope to them.
“There are about 16 states having difficulty paying salaries but, Anambra insists that on the 25th of every month, workers will continue to receive their salaries. We are not taking it for granted. We will continue to pay workers as at when due. That’s our commitment. I am a public servant and understand how it feels”, Soludo concluded.
The Head of Service, Barrister Theodore Igwegbe in her opening address thanked God for keeping everyone alive to witness the first public service day under the new administration.
“We recognize, reward hardwork and excellence of colleagues who have distinguished themselves in the discharge of their duties.
“We rededicate our service to discipline and service delivery to our people,” she stated.
“It is a annual event slated for 23rd of June every year but every state is entitled to fix their own date.
“The theme of the event is coming at a time our state has transited to a new administration, giving account to the stewardship to the people.
“Public service is bound on public trust”, she said
“The Federal Government of Nigeria developed a framework to institutionalize public service. In the development of civil service, I came up with a development plan and a blue print designed and approved by the Anambra EXCO on 8th of August 2022.
“They are aligned to the vision of Governor soludo’s administration. The systematic core areas are underlisted as follows: Capacity building, performance management, service delivery, anti-corruption, value proposition and digitization”, she pointed out.
“On Staff welfare, enumeration and reward, states should review staff salaries, promotions and reward system. It will make the service attractive to pools of talents and make workers motivated to give their best at all times.
“A proposal of the full minimum wage have been submitted and we await due approval.
“Civil services buses have degraded badly and have been in the workshop for 3 years. The Governor have approved repairs for the buses pending when new buses are provided”, she said.
“12 states in Nigeria are owing 1 months salaries and 8 states are owing 6 months salaries.
“Mr Governor has graciously paid leave allowance for 2022 and December salaries”, she noted.
“Declining efficiency, productivity, low morale of workers are some of the challenges of civil servants.
“Our appeal to Mr Governor is for the full implementation and consideration of the national minimum wage in the state, upward review of salaries to litigate economic challenges of the country, appeal for approval of funds for civil service commission to conduct 2023 promotion interviews, appeal for provision for official cars for permanent secretaries and directors as done in the past, provision of work tools, computers and procurement of buses to ease transportation challenges of civil servants.
“We also plead for appointment of permanent secretaries as present ones are in charge of two ministries which is presently affecting productivity, Billboards for Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex Awka, desilting of drainages in the complex, office furniture procurement for use in the offices, repainting of buildings and fence of the Secretariat Complex.
“We promise and pledge our full dedication and commitment to you and your Government. we vow to work assiduously, to ensure your vision for the state is judiciously implemented,” she assured.
A ceremony was held to present the Commissioner for Lands with the Distinguished Merit Award for his remarkable performance and ministry-wide changes, as well as Certificates of Merit to 33 other officers from various ministries for their great work and dedication.
The honorees were urged by the Head of Service to keep pushing forward.
She also praised the governor for his warm demeanor, his desire to help civil servants, the employment of 5000 teachers, the extensive development of roads, and a plethora of other things.
The State’s Accountant General, Mr. Harry Uduh, and the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, were present.
Mr. Anthony Ifeanya, Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Felix Odimegwu, Commissioner for Power and Water Resources, Engr. Sir Julius Chukwuemeka, Commissioner for Information, Dr. Chukwudi Okoli, Commissioner for the Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs. Chiamaka Nnake, Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mr. Anthony Ifeanya, Commissioner for the Environment,
Barr. Titus Akpudo, MD ASWAMA, Mr. Mike Ozoemena, Members of Boards and Parastatals, Permanent, Mr. Donatus Onyeji, National President of ASATU, Sir Paul Nwosu, Commissioner for Special Duties, Barr. Sly Ezeokenwa, Commissioner for Culture and Entertainment,