Enthusiastic civil servants in Imo State have resolved to re-elect Governor Hope Uzodimma on November 11, insisting that under his regime, they have never had it so good in terms of attention given to their welfare by the government.
The resolve to re-elect Governor Uzodimma was communicated to him on Friday when he paid a working visit to the Imo State Secretariat on Port Harcourt road Owerri.
A grateful Governor Uzodimma had, however, reminded the civil servants, after commissioning the newly renovated walk ways to the 10 blocks of offices at the Secretariat, that he will not take their fidelity to him for granted as his friends.
After a careful review of the welfare situation of the Imo State civil servants in the years leading to Governor Uzodimma’s assumption of office in 2020 and now, the Head of Service, Raymond Ucheoma described the Governor as God sent.
“You are a messiah personified,” he said, adding that the Imo civil servants will forever remain grateful to the Governor for the numerous things they have enjoyed under his tenure such as mass promotion of workers, 13th month salary payment, free transportation, free medical treatment, regular payment of salary, conducive work environment, training and retraining of workers, among others.
Ucheoma delightfully noted: “Our joy is rooted on the fact that Your Excellency has a Midas hand, in which whatever it touches changes for good. We are therefore indeed very grateful that our dear indefatigable workaholic Governor found time out of his busy schedule to visit the factory and milling machine of government policies in the state.
“Your Excellency, as workers in the Imo State Public Service, we have every reason to be thankful to you. During your maiden visit to the Secretariat in January, 2020, Your Excellency promised to make the office conducive for work. You kept this promise by re-roofing the 10 blocks of Offices. You also replaced toilet facilities and repainted the buildings. You rehabilitated the water scheme, repaired the four giant generator sets and caused the restoration of Public Power supply to the Secretariat.
“Furthermore, Your Excellency completed the abandoned walkway thereby connecting all the buildings in the State Secretariat.
“It is on record that Your Excellency, the Governor not only gave brand new vehicles to Permanent Secretaries but also provided free bus service for the workers of Imo State.
“Your Excellency, you streamlined the payment of workers’ salaries and all workers now receive salaries on the same date irrespective of work place. Your Excellency also approved waivers for employment of workers in some critical areas especially, in the Justice and Health sectors.
“Recruitment of Primary School Teachers has commenced in earnest courtesy of Your Excellency’s magnanimity. By Your Excellency’s benevolent approval, the backlogs of workers’ promotion have been cleared with some benefitting from three promotions while most of them had two promotions. There is no gainsaying the fact that Imo workers have never had it so good.
“Under Your Excellency the Governor, the Imo State Public Service has undergone a series of reorientation and training cutting across all the strata of the service as graciously sponsored by you. These trainings have impacted positively on the service delivery of individual staff and the system.
“We are grateful for the N30, 000 minimum wage already being paid to Imo State workers, the National Health Insurance Scheme which Your Excellency introduced for the workers, the increased minimum wage of N40, 000 and one meal per day which Your Excellency recently announced for workers in Imo State to cushion the biting effect of the removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria.
“You have indeed consistently maintained a worker friendly posture by the superlative relationship that exists between the Organized Labour and Government of Imo State. What more can a man do before he is crowned Lion Killer? You have done so much for Imo workers and we know that you will do more.
“In appreciation of these gestures and more importantly, I wish to also inform our dear Governor that the poor attitude to work which Your Excellency roundly condemns has changed. Imo workers now come to work early, stay till close of work and deliver assignments on target, at times, through personal initiative and resources. They now respond swiftly to the demands of their offices. This is another way of appreciating Your Excellency’s love and investment in the Service.
“In addition Sir, I wish to assure Your Excellency that the workers of Imo State will continue to support your administration and all your aspirations. There is no need to change a winning team and the reward for hard work is more work.
“Once again we thank Your Excellency for coming our way today. We are optimistic that as you have seen, you will also conquer whatever challenges you have seen for yourself today particularly, in addressing the present congestion of workers in offices. Perhaps I may need to point out that construction of the proposed seven floor office of the Head of Service right opposite this arena can ameliorate the problem. We believe you have come with packages as usual which when unveiled will gladden the hearts of Imo workers and spur them to do more.”
The civil servants who intermittently interjected during Ucheoma’s speech with solidarity songs for the Governor collectively resolved to return the Governor to office come November 11, 2023 so that they will continue to enjoy the benefits of his people-oriented welfare policies and programmes.
It was not only Ucheoma who spoke the minds of the civil servants.
The Chairman Civil Service Commission, Julie Onyeukwu, the Chairman Local Government Service Commission, Mrs. Rosemary Izuogu, the Chairman House of Assembly Service Commission, Lambert Orisakwe and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transport, Ogunsanya Abimbola, all acknowledged the Governor’s magnanimity to the civil servants, expressing their appreciation and preparedness to reelect him come November 11, 2023.
Governor Uzodimma who acknowledged the fidelity of the Civil Servants to his administration, said it was their support that encouraged him to fulfill all he promised them in 2020 when he assumed office, and the desire to do more.
He refreshed their memory on the things he promised to do such as to reinvigorate and restore the dignity of Civil Service, to restore the years Civil Servants lost to the locust by way of regular payment of salary and benefits, to give the Civil Servants a comfortable environment to carry out their works, and more, all of which he has delivered.
Governor Uzodimma reminded them that he had even gone ahead to do things he did not promise such as payment of 13th month salary. “I want to tell you that I will still do more.”
He told them of his plans to increase the number of buses to the civil servants next week and noted that he “cares for civil servants and always wants the best for them.”
“I feel fulfilled when Civil Servants ride on their executive vehicles to office. The civil service is the engine of the Government hence the need to elevate the working environment of the civil servants.”
The Governor observed that the regular payments of salaries and pensions have enhanced the economy of the State and promised that arrangement is in advanced stage to pay the gratuity of retired Imo workers.
He told the civil servants that Imo State has been recovered, meaning that it cannot revert to the old ways of doing things, “rather Imo should be good for all her citizens.”
Governor Uzodimma charged the Civil Servants to resist the temptation of being used by agents of Satan to destabilize the government and the State all in the name of politics.
He warned them to be wary of temptations that will come their way as the Governorship elections draw nearer and advised them to, no matter the threats, resist such temptations.
He promised that no civil servants will be victimised for exercising their rightful franchise and appealed, “Please stay away from evil dowers. Imo State today is a new Imo and we will stop at nothing from recovering the State.”
He said: “The New Imo can be exemplified in Imo having more Universities where our children can gain admissions without much struggles. The new Imo has empowered Imo youths and will continue to empower them through the Skill-Up project. The new Imo is dredging Oguta to Orashi to the Atlantic Ocean, a project that will bring and generate a lot of economic activities and at the end create over one million jobs for the people of Imo State and beyond.”
He asked the civil servants to be mindful of pretenders who want to tell them how they will make Imo better without any proper plan.
The Governor insisted that the insecurity in Imo State is politically motivated. “It is the politicians.”
However, he assured that there will be enough security in Imo State for the November 11 election.
He advised the Civil Servants to shine their eyes and never lose sight of the government’s several welfare schemes for them, assuring that he will not leave the civil service behind.
Governor Uzodimma promised to erect a Civil Service Hall where big meetings of civil servants and the Governor can take place and charged the civil servants to continue to do the good works they are doing for the State.
On the current issues at hand which is subsidy removal and its consequences, he noted that he was aware of how prices of goods and services have risen astronomically, making lives unbearable, and informed the Civil Servants that Government will soon come to their rescue by giving them some palliatives by way of food items.
He said he had constituted a committee made up of the Head of Service and others to work out modalities for the distribution of the palliatives.
Earlier on arrival at the secretariat, the Governor commissioned walk way, visited some blocks housing the Civil Service/Local Government Service Commission/Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, the Ministry of Works and that of Transport and Ministry of Budget, Economic Planning and Statistics as well the Office of the Head of Service.
The Deputy Governor Placid Njoku, the Secretary to Imo State Government, Cosmos Iwu, the Chief of Staff, Nnamdi Anyaehie, Commissioners, Special Adviser and other top government officials attended the event.