The governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade, has authorised the payment of 2014 gratuity to retired civil servants in the state.
Giving the directive in Calabar shortly after inspecting the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) secretariat, which is under construction, Ayade also announced a donation of N50 million to the union and its counterpart, Trade Union Congress (TUC) for the completion of the Labour House.
The governor, who was accompanied on the tour by his deputy, Prof Ivara Esu, members of the state executive council as well as officers and members of the state NLC and TUC said: “We have already finalised and I have just signed today an authorisation for them to commence the implementation of 2014 gratuity.
“At the time we discussed with the NLC/TUC on the need to support them build a labour house, the approval I gave was so insignificant for the accomplishment of what I am seeing here today. I thought I was the only magician who knows how to turn one naira to a million dollars. Today, I have seen some management experts that are equally very good.”
Ayade who assured that the labour house will be completed before his third year anniversary in office announced that, “against that background, God has descended upon me with an inspiration to ensure that you complete this project and get it ready for commissioning as in the history of Cross River, we have never had a labour house where members can come in unmolested.
“It is my pleasure to support you complete this edifice with additional N50 million. That figure will cover furniture, telecom and a small clinic in case of any emergency.”
He charged the labour leaders and members to remain better organised, well structured and never relent in their roles to the society.
He called on the labour leaders not to stop insisting on what they think is the right thing for the people.
“I must commend you for being very balanced in the whole process. Agreed that normally as government task, critical misunderstanding will set in, but that is part of relationship and I think that the concept of this is a harbinger of a better relationship and better understanding of each other,” he added.
Earlier, NLC chairman in the state, Mr. John Ushie, said: “For over 40 years, the labour centre has not had a place to call their own, but in your time, it has come to pass. We believe that before your third year in office, you will come back to commission this place.”
Thereafter, the governor, his deputy, members of the organised labour as well as members of the state executive council proceeded to other projects sites embarked upon by the Ayade-led administration in the state.
They included the 21 megawatt power plant, Calabar Garment Factory, Calabar Pharmaceutical Factory, Rice Seeds and Seedlings Center amongst others.