- President Muhammadu Buhari says the federal government is committed to the cause of improving the lot of every working Nigerian
- Buhari says his administration will continue to provide the enabling environment for effective collective bargaining amongst trade unions and employers
- The president says sorkers will be called upon to play greater roles in supporting the government to attain its goals
President Muhammadu Buhari says the federal government will fully implement the N30,000 new minimum wage for workers in the country.
Buhari gave the assurance while addressing workers at the 2019 May Day celebration on Wednesday, May 1, in Abuja, The news Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The 2019 May Day theme is ‘’Another 100 Years of Struggle for Jobs, Dignity and Social Justice in Nigeria.’’
Buhari, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said that the Federal Government was committed to the cause of improving the lot of every working Nigerian.
“In this regard, the New National Minimum Wage which I signed into law a few days ago shall be fully implemented by my administration.
“Let me once again express my deepest appreciation to the leadership of the Nigerian Workers for the understanding showed during and after the negotiations of the New National Minimum Wage.
“We shall continue to provide the enabling environment, higher productivity, industrial peace and harmony as well as congenial atmosphere for effective collective bargaining amongst trade unions and employers, protecting fundamental rights and other lawful rights at work.
“At the just concluded General Elections, Nigerians and indeed Nigerian Workers gave my Administration another mandate to govern them.
“We shall reciprocate this electoral gesture, by focusing on the critical issues that will speedily improve the quality of lives and livelihoods of Nigerians.
“These include the building of infrastructure roads, and rail, reforming key driving sectors of the national economy in order to put the country on a sustainable path of economic growth and prosperity,’’ he said.
He added that government was committed to changing the narrative in the power sector.
“Today that sector after it was privatised still remains challenged in delivering power to many Nigerian homes and businesses.
“We must as a matter of National importance rework and re-engineer the sector for much more effective performance.
“Workers shall be called upon to play greater roles in supporting the Government to attain these goals,‘’ he said.
Buhari also said that industrial peace was central to economic stability, adding that every industrial disruption costs the national economy dearly in term of money and man hours.
He, therefore, urged all actors in the industrial relations system to be more circumspect, patriotic and ethical in the use of industrial actions as tools for resolving workplace crisis and addressing grievances.
He, however, said the Centenary Celebration of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) was of significance to Nigeria.
“It is of utmost importance for me to state here that the ILO had over the years supported the country in the development and Implementation of Labour related Policies, Action Plans and programmes to tackle Child Labour, Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.
“Recently ILO also collaborated with Nigeria in her affirmation as a member of Pathfinder countries on the elimination of Child Labour, Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.
“Pathfinder Countries are pioneer Countries of Alliance 8.7 who have decided to pull resources together and channel same towards the achievement of Target 8.7 of Sustainable Development Goals. We shall ask and request the ILO to support further,‘’ he said.
The President said that the government would continue to leverage on these collaborations to further strengthen the labour institutions, update labour legislation and policies in line with international best practices.
He also said that the government would continue to foster stronger ties among the social partners in the forthcoming years.
“I am also convinced that the careful selection of the theme is a reflection of our collective commitment to job creation, protection of workers’ dignity and promoting social justice in the country as espoused in various provisions of the Constitution.
“Therefore, today’s event should provide us the opportunity to reflect on our fidelity to these great principles.
“Our Administration is firmly committed to these principles. On assumption of office in 2015, in spite of the daunting economic challenges which confronted us at the time, we ensured that no worker was retrenched,‘’ he added.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Labour Congress has opposed the proposed plan by the federal government to remove the fuel subsidy and increase the Value Added Tax (VAT).
The president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba and the president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Bobboi Bala Kaigama, jointly in an address to workers as part of activities marking the May 31 Workers Day, stated that increase in the VAT and pump price of petrol would worsen the poverty in the country, Daily Trust reports.
The labour leaders said the intervention of the IMF in Nigeria has always been about the removal of the so-called petrol subsidy, as well as implementing naira devaluation and opening of the country's borders to allow the influx of foreign goods.
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