Kwara state Governor Bags Fellowship of Labour Institute award
By Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRaman AbdulRazaq has bagged the honorary Fellowship of the National Labour Institute (FNLS).
The conferment of the award was part of the activities to mark the 40th year anniversary of the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies’ (MINILS) Ilorin, Kwara State.
The award, according to the Institute, was in recognition of the Governor’s exceptional commitment to workers’ welfare and how he maintains a goodwill with the labour leaders in the state.
AbdulRazaq, in turn, reassured the labour unions of his administration’s resolve to sustain the existing good working relationships, seeking an improved engagement with the union leaders.
He congratulated the Institute on its 40th anniversary and appreciated them for the honour.
“Let me first of all congratulate the new executives of the NLC. We look forward to a robust engagement with you. You would see that the state didn’t interfere in the election, and a proper representation has emerged for the labour union. It is a disservice to the state and the people when the government interferes with the leadership of the union. This is why we don’t do it. I thank the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies for this investiture. I have been there twice. I am a great supporter of the institute and of the labour unions,” he said.
The Governor tasked the union leaders to get prepared for a positive interface with regard to legitimacy of the new minimum wage in the face of high inflation in the country.
AbdulRazaq again declared that the government will not sack workers as doing so offers no sustainable benefits to the state and the workers.
“We shall not be sacking any worker. It is important to say that. It costs us more to sack workers than to keep them in their jobs, because when we sack workers, we still have to pay their gratuities and pension, among other costs.
“So it is better for the workers to stay in their jobs. We are also working on increasing the retirement ages of our teachers as well. That will be looked into very soon. We are also looking in the direction of the private sector to create more jobs. Like I said, we are looking forward to a robust engagement and good working relationship with the labour.”
Director General of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Comrade Issa Aremu, said the award was considered necessary to appreciate the Governor’s commitment to workers’ welfare, his consistent payment of the minimum wage, and how he paves the way for freedom of association among the workers and union leaders in the state.
“He has been very consistent in ensuring the implementation of promotion arrears of all categories of workers who deserved it. Then, His Excellency, a person of courage, has also given due attention to mass employment of various categories of workers, namely teachers, health professionals, and civil servants of various cadres. This Governor is also committed to the training and retraining of civil servants in the state, and of course, he knows the mandate of our institute is to improve the capacity of workers,” he said.
The event was attended by government officials and various labour union leaders.