DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has challenged Nigerian workers to champion the fight against corruption, ensuring that things work in the country.
The governor made the call at the 5th National Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the National Union of Civil Engineering Construction, Furniture & Wood Workers (NUCECFWW) which took place in Asaba.
Governor Okowa who lauded the theme “Economic Woes: What Strategies for Nigeria & Trade Union” for the conference, disclosed that good governance can come from the workers, because in most cases, political office holders act on advice proffered by the workers.
“The situation of our country today calls for visionary leaders committed to good governance, accountability, and sustainable development, good governance should come from the workers and we, as workers, can resolve to resist corrupt office holders through proffering developmental advice devoid of personal interest,” the governor said while encouraging labour leaders in the country to instil in their members the need to be hardworking and be disciplined in their work place.
He continued, “In our present situation, labour should see themselves as partners with the government in stimulating economic growth and prosperity; for that to happen, it is my considered view that the union members generally need a mind shift. At the moment, their preoccupation seems to be only with higher wages and better condition of service.”
“While I concede on the need for better working condition, I am also persuaded that it will be made easier if workers pay greater attention to upgrading their skills, show more commitment to their work and enhance their productivity,” Governor Okowa added.
He observed that recession has permeated every facet of Nigeria’s economy with the free fall of the Naira, spiralling inflation which has led to the laying off of thousands of workers, but, assured that the situation had brought about the need “for men of vision, courage and character who will inspire hope and release the creative energies of the people by their commitment to good governance, transparency and accountability.”
“In Delta State, we have adopted a Modern Term Economic Development Plan (2016-2019), a policy document that encapsulates seven key strategic programmes in line with our vision of prosperity for all Deltans; it is driven by fiscal discipline and prudent management of resources because, we believe that to succeed as a state, we must cut unnecessary wastes and keep a tight lid on government spending,” the Governor informed the delegates, asserting, “as long as we spend more than we earn as a people, we will continue to sink deeper into the hole of economic recession.”
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Ayuba Wabba at the event, called for good governance at all levels of government, stating that developmental programmes should be people-driven with strong consideration for the welfare of the workforce.
Earlier in a welcome address, the President of NUCECFWW, Comrade Amechi Asugwuni stressed the need to diversify Nigeria’s economy as a way forward towards ending the recession ravaging the country.