Workers Day: Nigeria restates commitment to sustainable development

By Salihu Ali, Abuja


The Nigerian government says, it is committed to inclusive and sustainable development anchored by decent work agenda to initiate and maintain economic growth.

President Muhammadu Buhari made this known in a message to Nigerian workers who joined their counterparts to celebrate Workers day 2021.

The International Labour Day is observed every year on May 1st to celebrate the achievements of the workers and to spread awareness about exploitation by employees.

Nigera’s President Muhammadu Buhari in message to Nigerian workers said decent jobs in work places remain a goal of his administration.

The President, represented by Minister of Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Ngige said fair labour practices must be the norm in the world of work as happy workforce makes higher productivity. “A happy workforce can created by employers incorporating the decent work agenda in job creation and retention in their workplace guiding policies.”

He said, “decent work sumes up the aspirations of people in their working lives. It involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and Social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns,organize and participate in the decisions that their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.” The President stated.

President Buhari assured workers of  poverty alleviation through various safety net programmes to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, and appealed to employers of Labour to jettison Job reduction and work together for the good of the country.

Secretary to Nigerian government Mr Boss Mustapha represented by Permanent secretary general services Mr. Maurice Nnamdi promised that, “government will continue doing it’s best for the workers through robust policies.”

While urging Nigerian workers to be committed to work, the SGF reminded Nigerians on the need to observe COVID-19 protocols.

Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige announced that Nigerian pensioners will get paid including their arrears as from May this year.

Minister of State Labour Mr. Festus Keyamu in a remark said “efforts are now on geared towards providing social protection for workers and protecting decent jobs in the country.”

The President Nigerian labour congress NLC Mr Ayuba Wabba who salutes Nigerian workers, spoke on crisis on the social sector, National minimum wage, pension, Mass sack and casualization, and the need social dialogue among others.

He stressed the need for Nigerian government to respect the National minimum wage as it a social protection that provides minimum income to safeguard low earners.

He said,” today, there are attempts by a section of Nigera’s ruling class to kill the National minimum wage by removing it from the Exclusive legislative list to the Concurrent legislative list. This is most despicable.”

Wabba noted that, ” the National minimum wage is binding international law. Nigeria signed up to the Minimum wage Fixing Machinery Convention 026 of 1928 on 16th June 1961. Pursuant to this ratification, the National Assembly apart from listing the National minimum wage in exclusive legislative list also domesticated ILO Convention 026 in chapter 2 of Nigera’s 1999 constitution under the Fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy expressly demanding that the Nigerian state shall direct its policy towards ensuring the provision of reasonable national minimum wage and pensions.”

He appealed to states to borrow a leave from the federal government and implement the National minimum wage.

Parade by various industrial unions climaxed the workers day celebration in Nigeria.

The theme for this year’s workers day is ‘COVID-19 PANDEMIC, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CRISIS: Challenges for decent jos and people’s welfare’.


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