Emameh Gabriel writes that the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Hon Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has been able to turn things round for the better in less than three months in office.
Friends and foes give it to President Bola Tinubu when it comes to leadership recruitment. Unlike some of his peers at both national and sub-national levels whose clinchers in deciding who gets what are religion, ethnicity and servility, Tinubu looks out for who can deliver.
This explains in no unclear terms why none of his three successors as Lagos State governor has lowered the bar of governance in the state since 2007 when he left as governor but remained a centripetal figure in the state’s political dynamics.
Outside Lagos and the South-west, many of those he had brokered their emergence here and there on the national scene did not deport themselves as blunders.
As president, his ministers are already showing sparks of grasps of their job descriptions, just two months down the line. While other ministers may grab prime attention, some of the Ministers of State are the x factors in the successes of the ministries.
For instance, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has not lifted her feet from the gas since she assumed office. In formulation and implementation of policies, she has been hitting the bull’s eye with outcomes.
Being the first female Minister of state for Labour, she has imported her wealth of experience into the ministry. Without doubt, she is today the most celebrated politician in Abia State.
Without prejudice to Labour Minister, Hon. Simon Lalong’s expertise at the negotiating table, insiders from both the government and labour divide attest to the fact that Hon Onyejeocha should be given her flowers for master classes in brinkmanship and in deploying acumen and intellection in tempering Nigerian labour leaders, at least in the two instances they were all out to bring the business of governance to its knees in the country.
In just about two months, she has injected life in the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), a critical parastatal in her ministry that has been in a state of suspended animation out of a sustained institutional and systemic neglect and deprivation.
In the little space of time Hon Onyejeocha has taken charge, the NDE has received a shot in the arm, enabling it to face up to its full responsibility of upskilling Nigerians and dispensing artisanal training for self-reliance among Nigerians.
With the benefit of a 16 years hands-on in lawmaking, her first approach to her job in the ministry was to examine the country’s extant labour laws with a fine toothcomb towards grasping their application and their niceties of why and when.
Next was to evolve a synergy with those at the commanding height of the ministry towards an evolution of a harmonious working relationship. She left no one among them in doubt that she wants to leave the ministry more functional and better on all sides than she met it.
In the area of social works, she has already set up a team of experts at the ministry to recalibrate its social engagements and reposition the ministry towards providing more jobs and engaging more Nigerians in social services. Her target here is to promote social change, social development and empowerment, which she hopes to drive by instilling a sense of belonging and collective responsibility among the employed and yet to be employed Nigerians.
She holds welfare of the workers close to her heart. It is common knowledge that no demoralised workforce can take productivity a notch higher. On the contrary, an incentivised human resources would not hold back on industry and application.
This provides the backdrop for Onyejeocha’s quest for the provision of cutting-edge technology work tools for the staff of her ministry and every other incentives that would leverage them to give their utmost.
The Minister has a rich history of performance, welfarism and philanthropy, which is reassuring to Nigerians and good news to workers in her ministry.
As a federal lawmaker, she has numerous completed road projects to her credit.
These include: Uhuloghu-Amokwu-Umuelem Road; Umuada-Osisankita-Obulo Nneato Road; Amaiyi/Amaibo Road; Umuada-Osisankita-Obulo Nneato; Oghighe /Urualla /Ohukabi /Aligbara /Ahukabi /Ndijibi/ Oguduasa Road; Aviation School Road; Eke Eziama/Nneato Road/brigde and Aviation School Road.
Other physical and social infrastructure projects which endeared her to her constituents include: construction of school blocks in Lopkanta Central School; construction of classroom blocks in Eziama and Nneato communities; construction of water project in Umuejegwo; provision of electricity transformers and rural electrification of Achara community and the establishment of palm processing plant in Achara.
Others are: provision of residential houses for widows in her constituency; free WAEC registration for students in her constituency; provision of free medical treatment for her constituents, spanning the entire duration of her 16 years in the National Assembly.
At the moment, over 200 students are currently under her scholarship scheme while about 300 youths have been gainfully employed through her. With Hon. Onyejeocha, it can only get better.
-Gabriel writes from Abuja