From Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
As workers in Nigeria and across the globe mark Labour Day on May 1, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has felicitated with those in the state and commended them for their support and contributions to the growth and development of the state.
In a message to the workers, Okowa said that “Stop the Pandemic at Work”, the theme of this year’s commemoration of the Day, was strikingly apt, especially with the global fight against the Coronavirus disease otherwise known as COVID-19.
He said that like the global community, Delta Government had at the onset of the pandemic deployed personnel and resources into the battle to save lives of residents in the state by providing necessary facilities and training and re-training relevant health workers.
He lauded all workers in the state for their commitment and cooperation with the state government in the execution of its agenda, particularly the flagship – the Stronger Delta target.
In the message contained in a statement by Mr Olisa Ifeajika, his Chief Press Secretary, the governor noted that the 2020 Labour Day was being celebrated in a peculiar atmosphere of sobriety engendered by the prevailing COVID-19, which had jolted the world.
He urged workers to imbibe and internalize the new culture of personal hygiene, including the use of face mask and observance of social-distancing while interacting in public, and appealed to them to support government in sensitizing residents, especially at the grassroots, to all matters surrounding the pandemic.
He said that welfare of workers at all times had remained in the front burner of his administration’s priorities, and remarked that the society would remain eternally grateful and indebted to health, transport and media workers as well as utility employees and all those involved in the fight against the pandemic for their outstanding sacrifices to protect lives against the pandemic.
The governor disclosed that to encourage workers involved in government’s measures at combating COVID-19, especially frontline health personnel, enhanced daily hazard allowances had been approved and were being paid to them.
In addition, he said that the government had made sufficient provision for Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs), hand sanitizers, functional washrooms, suitable restrooms and other facilities to make the work of health frontline workers less challenging than it is already.
“We commend our health workers and other frontline personnel in this fight, and in order to encourage them, we have increased their daily hazard allowances and have also approved that they earn half of that allowances when they are off-duty.
“To ensure that workers have a conducive and suitable work place, we embarked on the construction of a new Secretariat Building in Asaba, which will be completed in a few months. The building, which is located on Mariam Babangida Way, is expected to house all Ministries, Departments and Agencies in an integrated network and make service delivery by workers seamless. I am sure that most public servants must have been beholding the edifice.
“As we mark this year’s celebration on a low-key because of the COVID-19 scourge, our administration remains irrevocably committed to the welfare of its workers and Deltans in general.
“To scale up our diagnostic capacity in the state, we have inaugurated a molecular testing laboratory at the Asaba Specialist Hospital to enable us ramp up our testing of suspected COVID-19 patients’ samples and make results of the tests to come out faster, in shortest time possible.
“On behalf of the government and people of the state, I felicitate with our dear workers on this occasion of 2020 May Day celebration.
“Reason for the atypical workers’ day celebration of this year is common knowledge, and we pray 2021 version will be celebrated amid fanfare,” he stated.