Governor Hope Uzodimma at the weekend rose to the challenge of hardship recently made worse by the removal of fuel subsidy in the country, raising the minimum wage of workers in Imo State to N40,000.
The multiple palliatives include but not limited to enhanced free transportation, feeding and medical care for workers, generous loans to genuine farmers, the establishment of marketing and commodity boards, payment of gratuities to retirees, mass housing, recruitment of more teachers for primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, bursary and scholarship for Imo State students, among others.
Uzodimma unveiled the package at a special meeting of critical stakeholders comprising religious leaders, politicians, farmers, traders, and labour leaders, among others, which he convened at the Rockview Hotel, Owerri.
The governor said he knows that “because we are buying petrol now at the rate of N530 per litre as against the previous rate of N189, you may hardly believe it. But I know that faith and hope are recurring words in our everyday lives.”
“Because you have hope and I know you also have faith in what we are doing, you will ultimately triumph. And I want you to be rest assured that this promise will come through. My dear brothers and sisters, you must believe me, when I tell you that I am truly touched by the reality on the ground. Yes, I am personally affected because whenever the nose weeps, the eyes join.”
Governor Uzodimma said he had “watched with keen interest how our people have been faring since the removal of the subsidy on fuel was announced,” noting, “I can tell you that I have been deeply worried by my observations.”
“It is clear to me that our people are suffering, particularly the low-income earners and those in paid employment. I have therefore convened this special meeting with the leadership of Organised Labour, Traders, Farmers and Artisans, to announce the comprehensive palliative measures we are putting in place, which I am sure will ease these sufferings, in addition to the measures expected from the federal government. I want you to know that I am with you in your travails. I share in your worries.”
He said he shared in their pains and anxieties, “but most importantly, I am here to tell you to worry less, to give you HOPE and to assure you that help is on the way. I want to let you into my plans for you. The plans that will alleviate the impact of the subsidy removal, stimulate the economy, create additional jobs and enhance the wages of workers.”