State governments and civil servants in northern Nigeria have joined the rest of the world to mark the 2016 edition of the Workers Day.
In Kaduna State, the government called on both Federal and state governments to address some of the socio-economic challenges facing the nation.
The civil servants demanded for an upward review of the current minimum wage to at least 100,000 Naira in line with the present economic realities.
At separate rallies to mark the May Day, the workers called on the Federal Government to tackle the epileptic electricity supply, fuel scarcity, insecurity, unemployment and casualisation of workers among other challenges.
They also warned the Kaduna State government to shun any plan to retrench its workforce, threatening a showdown against government if any civil servant is sacked.
While a faction of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kaduna State, led by Mr Adamu Ango, marked the Workers Day with a rally held at the Kaduna Township stadium, the other faction held a road procession near the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.
In Kano State, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, said that his government has recently established the salary and wages directorate as part of efforts to ensure transparent salary administration for the state’s civil servants.
Addressing workers to mark the 2016 Workers Day celebration, Governor Ganduje noted that the welfare of workers has been one of the major priority of his administration since inception.
Channels Television correspondent reports that hundreds of workers turned out during the colorful match pass held at the Sani Abacha indoor stadium.
While expressing happiness with the cordial relationships between his government and labour unions in the state, the Governor promised that his government would not leave a stone upturned in ensuring the state civil servants are catered for.
He added that various policy frameworks had been put in place to ensure that workers in Kano State benefit from his government’s welfare packages for the civil servants.
Although the NLC Chairman in Kano State, Dr. Kabiru Minjibir, commended the Governor’s civil service initiatives, he disagreed with some policies the workers considered injurious to them.
He stressed the need for government to fully study the report of the just concluded workers’ biometric data exercise, to avoid further complications that might result to confrontation between government and workers.
Other issues highlighted by the workers were the issue of labour casualisation and scarce job opportunities for teaming youths in Kano State.
In the northeast, civil servants in Borno State demanded a total implementation of the 18,000 Naira minimum wage.
Pensioners who joined in the celebration also called for an upward review of their pension, which is still on a minimum of 4,400 Naira.
The anniversary was marked with an elaborate rally under heavy security in the Ramat Square in Maiduguri, the first rally in five years, owing to the insurgency problem.
In line with the 2016 theme “The Working Class and the Quest for Economic Revival”, the civil servants lamented that their income was no longer sufficient, considering the economic reality of the country.
The Borno State NLC Chairman, Comrade Titus Abana, said that the theme was symbolic as people of the state were faced with two fundamental problems of insurgency and dwindling resources.