19 November 2016, Enugu – Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state has called for revival of coal mines across Nigerian states with coal mining potentials.
The governor made the call when the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, made a solidarity rally to commemorate the anniversary of the colonial government’s slaying of 21 workers who were agitating for better working conditions on November 18, 1949, at the Iva Valley Coal Mine, in Enugu.
NLC paid glowing tributes on the Governor for prioritizing the welfare of workers in Enugu State and ensuring their wages are paid regularly.
The commendation came few days after a survey by the data company, BudgIT, indicating that Enugu, alongside Lagos and Rivers, are the only states currently able to meet recurrent needs.
Represented by the commissioner of labour and productivity Barrister Emeka Okeke, Ugwuanyi enjoined the workers to use the commemoration of the coal miners’ sacrifice made 67 years ago to work diligently to preserve and promote the ideals they fought for across in the country.
The governor observed that it is “indeed sad to observe that the coal mines where it all started; which provided our heroes the platform to stand in exceptional gallantry, to say no to injustice and oppression and from where the former mainstay of the national economy was produced, have all been abandoned.”
He nonetheless expressed hope that with diversification as the new national mantra as a result of the negative developments in the oil sector, that the coal mines of Enugu will be restored and coal will once again become a major revenue resource for the country and a catalyst for socio-economic development.