Both Council and State government employees started receiving their December salaries from Dec. 19, in order to have money to shop for Christmas and New Year festivities.
Speaking with NAN, the Leader of Ogbete Main Market, Chief Temple Udeh, lauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for his concern for the well-being of workers, their families and the traders they patronised.
Udeh said that for the past one week, as the salaries were paid, there had been an increase in commercial activities at the Ogbete Market, Enugu. “Before the beginning of last week, traders in the market were sleeping and barely made sales to cover their daily transport and feeding stipends.
“For about six days now, there have been influx of buyers. Even some customers we have not seen for more than six months came to the market to pick items.
“The surprise upsurge, which I suspected could be due to the early payment of salaries, had revitalised trading and given traders something to smile about this season’’, he said.
The Chairman, Kenyatta Timber Market, Enugu, Chief Levi Obi, told NAN that the once dull atmosphere at the market gave way to busy periods for traders, who had to attend to their customers. “More civil servants are patronising the market, which had not been happening before now.
“So, we traders are commending the state government for paying salaries earlier and over increased sales by traders this season’’, he said. A trader in Mayor Market, also in Enugu, Mr Nick Okoroafor, also acknowledged that there had been an increase in sales for some days now.
“The early payment of salaries is what is driving the recent upsurge in sales we are witnessing. “We are grateful to the governor for this show of love not only to civil servants but to us traders they patronise,” Okoroafor said.
NAN also reports that Enugu State is predominantly a civil servant state, where most economic activities hover around the purchasing power of civil servants.
Gov. Ugwuanyi had earlier directed the council chairmen in the state to pay full December salaries before Christmas.
The state government had also cleared all outstanding pension arrears being owed pensioners as well as some arrears of salaries being owed to workers in some council areas of the state.