Senate President backs workers on wages review

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has advised the Federal Government to immediately constitute a panel consisting of stakeholders to work on demands of Nigerian workers for increased wages and arrears of pensions, promotion and allowances.

Senator Saraki was speaking with journalists at the Eagles Square, Abuja, venue of the 2017 May Day celebration.

Following a brief disruption of the May Day event, he said if the workers had allowed the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, to address them, he would have announced some plans that the government had for the workers.

He said the government needed to quickly move to address all the issues that workers were concerned about, and expressed the readiness of the National Assembly to play its part in ensuring that the workers get their dues.

“Government must set up a high-powered committee representing all stakeholders who have the ability to engender confidence across board. They must be given clear terms of reference and realistic time to conclude their work and make recommendations.

We in the National Assembly are ready to play our part to ensure the appropriation of necessary funds and enactment of appropriate laws to back up the resultant policies”, he said.

The Senate President noted that the government appreciated the patience, understanding and co-operation that the workers had extended to the Administration since its inception, particularly at this period and that their positive attitude would not be taken for granted.

He added that the National Assembly members had on their own increased the proposed provision in the 2017 budget being worked on to take care of pension of retired workers.

Saraki said the legislature could easily at the last stage of the budget process include provisions to take care of the financial implication of redressing arrears of promotion and allowances.

Dr. Saraki added that the National Assembly would at all times be responsive to the yearnings of the workers and that they would always show understanding for the plight of workers.