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Hopeful Workers And Tinubu’s Positive Body Language

Nigerian workers recently joined their counterparts in other parts of the world to celebrate ‘2024 World Workers’ Day’ with the theme, ‘Ensuring safety and health at work in a changing climate’.

During the celebration, a good number of them were on high expectations to hear what the government of President Bola Tinubu has in stock for them after a protracted new minimum wage negotiation.

A new minimum wage became imperative following the removal of fuel subsidy which eroded the purchasing power of Nigerians, coupled with the fact that the old minimum wage of N30,000 was due to expire in April.

However, at Eagle Square, on May 1, the workers were disappointed as the president rather sent messages of congratulations to the workers through his vice, Alhaji Kashim Shettima.

Saluting the workers, Tinubu said his administration remains committed to improving their welfare, citing the various relief programmes, including the wage award and the expected minimum wage review.

Tinubu commended Nigerian workers for their fidelity to the peace, progress, and development of the nation being evident in their tireless efforts and patriotic zeal to keep the national engine running.

“I salute Nigerian workers across all spheres – from the clerical officer who ensures the proper documentation and distribution of correspondence and the security officers who remain ever dutiful through all seasons.

“The teachers who secure the future of our nation by imparting knowledge to the next generation; the doctors who work relentlessly to save precious lives, and to all Nigerian workers who keep the candle aflame”, Tinubu said.

He said as custodians of the nation’s machinery workers deserve a fair wage and enhanced welfare, adding that ‘a labourer is deserving of not just any reward but fair and commensurate wages’.

The president assured Nigerian workers of his determination to improve their welfare, enhance their working conditions as well as providing the necessary tools for them to succeed.

In the same vein, President of the Nigerian Senate, Godswill Akpabio in his message, said Nigerian workers deserve better working conditions.

Akpabio, however, assured Nigerian workers that the National Assembly and the Executive will work together toward giving them a living wage and better working conditions.

He extolled the sterling qualities that stood out the Nigerian workers, saying that a Nigerian worker was noted for his patriotism, hardwork, resilience, and dedication to duty.

“I am happy to be associated with the Nigerian worker as in the last 25 years and I can attest to the fact that everywhere you go, the Nigerian workers’ spirit resonates profoundly. ” he said.

Akpabio also said the National Assembly under his leadership was more than committed to ensuring the best working conditions for the workers.

“No Nigerian worker will again be allowed to work under inhuman conditions, we will do everything to give you the best because you deserve the best”, he said.

Commenting on the 2024 Workers’ Day theme, ‘ Ensuring safety and Health at Work in a changing climate’, Akpabio said the theme was apt and in tune with international best practices, assuring that Nigeria will never be left behind.

“The 10th National Assembly is fully committed toward providing the required laws aimed at protecting the interest of the Nigerian worker by creating a befitting working environment and a reasonable pay that takes them home.

” We are celebrating patriotism, hardwork, commitment and dedication exhibited by the Nigerian workers.

” I want to assure you that your sacrifices would never be in vain, the tough times will not last forever, in fact, the challenges will soon be over,” Akpabio said.

Similarly, the House of Representatives Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda in his congratulatory message, called for speedy action on a new minimum wage and a better working condition for Nigerian workers.

He called for collective responsibility to advocate a fairer, more inclusive society where every worker is treated with dignity and respect.

“We call on the government to urgently consider a living wage for the Nigerian worker and commence implementation with the same speed used for the implementation of tax and tariff increases on the populace”, Chinda said.

He reiterated the commitment of the house caucus to addressing workers issues through legislative actions and advocacy.

The Nigerian workers on their own, expressed hope after receiving the news of increase in salary of some categories of Nigerian workers by 25 per cent to 35 per cent and the ongoing negotiation on the new minimum wage.

Appreciating the president for his promises to elevate workers’ welfare, they said benefits provided by the government for the well-being of workers could enhance workers’ potential in the course of discharging their duties.

Amidst encomiums and eulogies, the expectations of Nigerian workers from the Tinubu administration remain high.

Mrs Mercy Ephraim, who expressed gratitude to the current administration over the ongoing negotiation on minimum wage, said she was hopeful that at the end Nigerian workers would have a cause to smile.

“All hopes are not lost at all. I want to believe that we, the Nigerian workers, will be happy at last.

“Mr President knows quite well what Nigerians are going through and he will judge workers’ welfare based on the theme of this year, ‘People First’ ” she said.

Mr Emmanuel Ekah, another civil servant, said he was happy with the labour unions, as well as the workers, for their patience with the government over the economic realities and their welfare.

He said labour had demonstrated a high sense of responsibility and patriotism by not organising strike actions to further disrupt the country’s economy at a time Nigeria was facing many challenges.

Ekah made appealed to the Federal Government to continue to look into workers welfare as they were the backbone of the nation’s administration.

“You will agree with me that money flows into the society through workers and this means that if it is well with the workers, there will be positive impacts on other citizens of the country, ” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Abubakar Sadiq urged the government to take workers welfare seriously adding that it would also have positive impacts even after their retirement.

“Why I am saying this is because I am retiring in September this year and I am already expressing fears of what I will do to survive for the rest of my life.

“I am appealing that reasonable salaries should be given to workers right from the time they start their career as will make them to have enough resources even after their services to the country,” he said.

The workers say they are optimistic that President Bola Tinubu led administration will give them a brighter future.

They urged the government to accelerating action in approving a new minimum wage and prioritise workers welfare. (NANFeature)

**If used please credit the writer and the News Agency of Nigeria.

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