Benue state governor Samuel Ortom and his Anambra state equivalent, Willie Obiano, have congratulated Dr Chris Ngige on his re-appointment as the Minister of Labour and Employment, Concise News reports.
Charles Akpan, Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, in the labour ministry, said in a statement on Sunday that the duo, in separate letters they personally signed, said Ngige’s return to his old turf was “a vote of confidence”.
The statement quoted both governors as expressing delight at the development which they said should strengthen Ngige’s spirit of patriotism and zeal to deliver on national assignments.
It quoted Obiano as challenging Ngige to “fly the prestigious Anambra flag” in the discharge of his duties at the federal level”.
It also quoted Ortom as urging Ngige to deploy his experience into promoting industry harmony in the country.
Meanwhile, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), has said that Ngige’s re-appointment was well deserved, “having diligently discharged his duties in the last four years in the labour ministry”.
“As strategic partners in the industrial relations arena, we can attest that your tenure witnessed relative industrial peace and harmony in the country,” the association said in a letter signed by Messrs Bobboi Kaigama and Alade Bashir Lawal, its National President and Secretary.
“Expectations are high that you will intervene in the ongoing protracted negotiation in respect of the consequential adjustment arising from the N30,000 monthly National Minimum Wage signed into law by the President in April,” the workers said.
Minister Ngige upbeat on performance
Speaking after his inauguration last week, Ngige said that it was a good homecoming for him as he hoped for better working relations with labour unions. “I expect better work; I will align with labour in their legitimate struggles.
“There is no job that does not have hazards; what happened at the last moment was part of the hazards of the job,” he said.
“There is nothing like a crisis; we are a family; we had a family disagreement and we have resolved them; we are in good term.”
On the stalemate about the implementation of the minimum wage, Ngige said it would be resolved immediately.
He, however, explained that there were intricacies of minimum wage negotiations which would be sorted out. “We know what a good template will be for the government at federal, states and local governments, and for the workers themselves; we want them to smile; so, we must do something that put a smile on their faces.