As Nigerian workers join their counterparts across the world to mark the 2021 International Workers’ Day (May Day), today, the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, the former governor of Abia State and Deputy Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu, All Progressives Congress (APC), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other well – meaning Nigerians, felicitated with the workers, urging them to continue to offer selfless service to the nation.
Kalu celebrates workers contribution to national development
Kalu while congratulating the labour force in Nigeria, described workers as critical stakeholders in nation building, even as he acknowledged the contributions of workers to the social, economic and political development of the country. While applauding their perseverance, patriotism selflessness and dedication to service, Kalu called on workers to uphold and sustain best global practices in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities. “I join workers across the country to celebrate Labour Day. “Workers are the bedrock of any economy in view of their strategic importance in national development,’’ he said. He further stated that: “In made up of committed, productive, talented, patriotic and selfless individuals across all sectors of the economy. “I acknowledge and celebrate the giant contributions of workers to the social, economic and political development of Nigeria. “Workers have continually made sacrifices for Nigeria to grow and progress. “For any economy to be self sufficient, the welfare of workers must be a top priority in the policy thrust of government”. The former Governor called on employers of labour in the public and private sectors to provide good working conditions for employees, adding that workers in every organisation should not be undermined.’’
Atiku calls for review of governance cost
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has called for the urgent review of cost of governance in line with the economic realities and the sorry conditions of average Nigerian citizens. He decried what he described as “widespread extreme poverty and declining incomes among the economically vulnerable Nigerians.” In a statement by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, he condemned “the extravagant lifestyles of elected officials” in the face of poor living conditions of most Nigerians, describing it as a demonstration of insensitivity. According to him, the conditions of the Nigerian workers are worrisome in the ever hostile economic en-vironment, adding that such situation makes saving and survival almost impossible. Such situation, he argued, productivity will take a nose dive, and “will only create favourable conditions for corruption and aggravate depression and mental health problems among civil servants. Atiku, however, advised the workers not to lose hope in the country, despite the challenges. “Nigeria is bigger than those who preside over our affairs. We have more common interests that unite us than things that divide us. Let us not allow anyone to use us as fighting tools while they are busy protecting their own interests.”
Lawan pledges legislative for workers’ welfare
President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, pledged legislative support to improving the welfare of Nigerians workers, noting that May 1 was set aside every year to celebrate workers as the creators of wealth and to reflect on how to improve their work environment and welfare. “I felicitate with the Nigerian workers on this occasion of the Worker’s Day of International Solidarity and Unity. “I commend their patience, understanding and also their resilience in the face of the current challenges that our nation is facing. “The National Assembly believes in the well-being and welfare of the workers and will always provide legislative support for every effort to tackle their challenges and improve the work environment. “I assure you of the resolute commitment of the Ninth Senate to its mantra of “Work for Nigeria.” “By this, we will continue to stand by the Nigerian workers to rid our statute books of anti-labour laws and promote legislations that will make our society a better place for the working people,” Lawan says.
ASUU: Nigerians enduring “double portion of corruption and insecurity
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has observed that Nigerians are now facing ‘double portion’ of atrocities, corruption and insecurity under President Muhammadu Buhari. Chairman ASUU, University of Ibadan, Professor Ayoola Akinwole, said this yesterday in a release to mark 2021 Workers’ Day, entitled: “Buhari-led Adminitration: The Real Enemy of Nigerian Workers.’’ He noted that workers’ conditions and welfare have been on the downside more than it was before the ascendancy of President Buhari, the unionist pleaded with “all workers to rise in defense of dignity of labour and resist the flagrant disregard for human rights and the rule of law in the country. We must resist the ploy of government and its agents to divide us. We must resist their divide-andrule strategies.” Akinwole said: “While campaigning for election in 2014, the Buhari-led government called the claims of fuel subsidy a blatant lie and promised to end the fuel subsidy scam, medical tourism, corruption and insecurity in Nigeria. Sadly, six years at the helm of affairs, Nigerians are experiencing ‘a double portion’ of these listed atrocities. Furthermore, while the Nigerian education sector continues to suffer as a result of poor funding, the current political elites continue to send their children abroad to be educated while they decry the fallen standard of education in Nigeria”.
Pastor Akinlabi lauds resilience of Nigerian workers
Godman Akinlabi, lead Pastor of non-denominational Christian assembly, The Elevation Church (TEC), commended Nigerian workers for their uncommon industry, Ingenuity and resilience. Akinlabi said: “Despite the ripple effect of the pandemic, the state of the Nigerian economy, and challenges in various sectors such as transportation, power, housing; Nigerian workers have remained resilient, hardworking and have kept commerce alive at all levels. I encourage Nigerian workers to imbibe lessons from the life of Joseph in the Bible. He was a champion of stewardship, honesty and industry while managing his father’s business, which he applied in all his endeavours. ‘‘Those virtues, combined with his walk with God, propelled him to global relevance. Nigerian workers must eschew corrupt practices and lethargy, and embrace industry, honesty and the fear of God in all their dealings”. He also called for robust reforms in the housing and transport sectors which will save man hours and boost the efficiency of the Nigerian worker. He charged government officials and the current administration to champion the cause for better treatment of our pensioners and retirees.
APC: We’ll do more to improve your welfare
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has promised that the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will do more to improve the welfare of the workers. The party stated this in a statement it issued in Abuja on yesterday to celebrate the workers day. The Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator John Akpan Udoedehe, in the statement commended some of the labour leaders, who he said had shunned unpatriotic influences in agitation for workers welfare. “We also greet labour and trade unions who continue to shun unpatriotic influences while advocating for the rights and welfare of Nigerian workers. “From the administration’s several social investment programmes targeted at citizens living on the margin to the Economic Sustainability Plan which fast-tracked the country’s recovery from recession and cushioned the economic effects of the COVID- 19 pandemic, Nigerian workers are key partners and are playing important roles in ensuring the administration’s successful implementation of these programmes and many more. “In line with our election promises to Nigerian workers, the President Buhari administration successfully implemented the improved minimum wage and has embarked on a mass housing programme benefitting thousands. This government’s commitment to the welfare of Nigerian workers is tested and proven. We will do more.