ANAMBRA State Secretariat Complex in Awka is currently wearing a new look due to the ongoing aggressive renovation works at the complex.
Prior to the exercise, the complex had experienced dire deplorable conditions of corrugated floors, leaking roofs, bad toilets and conveniences, dilapidated office apparatuses, epileptic power supply as well as general lukewarmness of the secretariat complex thereby making work environment unfriendly and inconvenient for maximum productivity and motivation.
It is in order to address such shortcomings that Governor Willie Obiano extended priority attention to the secretariat complex and embarked on rehabilitative works on the old and new buildings of the complex respectively so as to bestow on the complex a befitting status as the nerve centre and engine room of Anambra State economy.
As at press time, one of the workers who spoke with our correspondent on the spot at the complex regarding the ongoing renovations, Oluwadare Ajibola Samuel, a representative of O-Ben Developers said they were renovating the block A and B axis of the secretariat complex and that the project commenced about a week ago.
He said “there were a lot of cracked walls inside. We also rectified electrical faults and also worked on faulty air-conditioners. There are lots of leakages in the roofs; so we changed a lot of things. We changed the roofs and also changed some sinks there to make sure that everything is perfect.
So there is no more leakage there. We are also replacing the interlocks with stamping concretes to make the place more beautiful. “Although he said he was not from Anambra State but what he has seen in the state so far really made him concurred that the governor was indeed working assiduously to place Anambra at a vantage position for other states to emulate.
Head of Service of the Anambra State Civil Service, Harry Uduh, who also lent credence to the renovation exercise, said it was in tandem with Governor Willie Obiano’s philosophy of a conducive, convenient, as well as habitable work environment where workers were expected to ensure maximum productivity.
The Head of Service said “Governor Willie Obiano is interested in the welfare and well-being of workers. Apart from salaries and wages, you are as good as your work environment. This place has not been renovated for more than 12 years.
And he saw the need to upgrade the look so that it will also help the psyche of those who work in a clean and conducive environment. If you work in a dirty environment, it will affect your psyche and quality of your work.
So in this case and inspite of paucity of funds, he undertook massive renovation of the place. The block A for instance, the structure there was donated by the federal government and nothing has been done there since 1991.
Internally also, the facilities are also being repaired and replaced. And to compliment that, facility managers have been engaged to make sure that the standard of cleanliness and decency expected is maintained.
“Uduh further disclosed that inspite of too many contending needs, the governor decided to deploy resources to the facelift and upgrade of the state secretariat complex Awka.
As part of measures to address erratic power supply at the secretariat complex, the Head of Service explained that the governor recently commissioned the Awka Sub-station of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company which he believes would help supply constant electricity to the secretariat complex.
Also he noted that there is an effort to get electricity from the Awka station of the Central Bank of Nigeria dedicated centre and that the governor has equally made provisions for the purchase of more bigger generators for the secretariat and government house respectively and to compliment others together with other long term power initiatives intended to address power outages at the secretariat complex.
Uduh was however of the opinion that civil servants and other workers in the state have no reason not to be happy with the governor’s developmental strides especially as it concerns their welfare and upkeep, adding that Anambra State ranked top on workers’ welfare and better conditions of service. He said while the governor is beautifying the secretariat complex, there was need also to ascertain as well as identify those on the state government’s payroll to avoid leakages and wastages in the state work force.
This according to him, prompted the on-going workers’ verification exercise which also includes political appointees. Although the Head of Service stated that the payroll verifications was a routine exercise but not intended to witch-hunt any employee of the government.
He said the last payroll verification exercise was conducted in 2016 but emphasised that it was necessary that government conducted it so as to ensure that those being paid salaries really deserved to be paid even as he pointed out that with the imminence of the new national minimum wage, the payroll verifications was necessary to ensure proper implementation.
He said government was making frantic efforts to instill discipline and integrity into the payroll system of the government stressing that it is the duty of public servants to identify and report colleagues who take to truancy and redundancy at the workplace.
The Head of Service however re-echoed the fact that the payroll verification exercise would not preclude any worker from getting his salaries but to help regulate the payroll system of the government to guard against loss of revenues.