Labour Rights Critical To Inclusive Development – NHRC

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has urged government at all levels to observe international best practices in handling labour-related matters.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission Tony Ojukwu (SAN) stated this as Nigeria joins the rest of the global community to commemorate the 2022 International Workers Day (IWD).

He stated that prioritising the rights of workers is critical given that human resources remain the drivers of development in any clime.

Read Also: [Labour Day] Workers Hold Rallies, Advocate For Better Welfare

He further stated that entrenching good working relations between employers and employees both in the government and private sectors in Nigeria will bring about industrial harmony rather than suspicion, tension, and strike which all come with their attendant negative tolls on the society.

Chief Ojukwu (SAN) observed that Nigeria as a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), cannot afford to renege on the acceptable standards of relationship with the workforce.

The Chief Human Rights Officer opined that it is interesting to note that Nigeria as a Member of the ILO has always deployed dialogue as a mechanism for addressing disagreements and grievances involving Labour, adding that continuing in that manner will not only portray the nation in good light but also reinforce the confidence of workers in the government.

On the current strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and three other labour unions, the NHRC Boss enjoined the federal government to expedite action to resolve the current impasse with ASUU so as not to further endanger the right to education of the university students who have lost an academic year as a result of the unfortunate strike.

“Incessant ASUU strike has continued to constitute a major threat to the right to Education of students of our tertiary institutions especially the public Universities where the grater population of our youth attend”.

The human rights Czar regretted that the University strikes deform qualitative and productive education for the Nigerian youth and consequently, “education which is regarded as the fulcrum for national development is truncated” he lamented.

He said the ongoing ASUU strike has also taken an ugly toll on the lives and livelihood of family members of the affected lecturers as most of them reportedly find it difficult to cope with the basic responsibilities of taking care of their families.

The Executive Secretary is therefore using the opportunity of the IWD to call on the government to call the ASUU back to the negotiation table, pointing out that while the union cannot have all their demands met at once, the government could intervene to urgently take care of the most disturbing demands, pending when more resources are available to do more.

According to the learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria, it is not in doubt that most of the demands being made by ASUU are genuine, saying that merited allowances, improved facilities and infrastructures are not in any way bogus expectations that cannot be taken care of, considering the positive effects these will have on our universities.

He stated that the preference of University Transparent Accountability Solution (UTAS) to IPPIS by ASUU is something that the government could look into with a view to possibly making some necessary adjustments that will be favourable to both parties.

He called on all the parties to use the opportunity of this year’s IWD to resolve all issues outstanding on the strike and get the students back to school and stop the further violation of their right to education and development.

Labour Day: Workers Hold Rallies, Advocate For Better Welfare

 

It’s May Day, a day set aside to celebrate workers and highlight their struggles.

Also known as the International Workers Day, it came into effect in 1889 to beam the spotlight on workers’ struggle, a fallout of Haymarket affair in Chicago, U. S. A, where workers led a protest to insist on working for eight hours instead of the 12 hours a day, besides other welfare issues.

Here in Nigeria, led by the labour unions, workers are holding rallies across the country to mark the event and advocate for better welfare.

And following a pre-May day rally by the Nigeria Labour Congress, a major focus of this year’s celebration will centre around a call on Nigerian workers to get their PVCs and make their voices and votes count ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Read Also: [Labour Day] Lawan Seeks ‘Speedy’ End To ASUU Strike

What Leaders Are Saying:

NASS

Senate President Ahmad Lawan has assured workers that the National Assembly will continue to partner with the Organised Labour to address issues relating to them.

He made gave the assurance in a statement celebrating Nigerian workers on the occasion of this year’s May Day, while calling for a speedy and amicable resolution to the months-old Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.

“Nigerian workers deserve our appreciation and respect for their contributions to the development of our country,” Lawan said.

“I also salute them for their patriotic cooperation with the government and other institutions in the collective efforts to address societal challenges.”

Tinubu

Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, also charged Nigerians to work in harmony to produce a better country for themselves and future generations.

“Labour is the backbone of a nation. Our nation’s labourers are the daily unsung heroes of society. The work they performed helps define our nation. The goods and services their efforts provide are the basis of our collective well-being, he said.

“Today is Workers’ Day. It is a day for us to fully celebrate the Nigerian worker”.

Governors

State governors have also joined in celebrating workers.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State urged workers in the state to remain productive and committed to carrying out their duties, while his Edo State counterpart Godwin Obaseki, assured workers in the state that his administration will continue to prioritise their welfare.

In Ogun State, Governor Dapo Abiodun joined workers to commemorate the day at the Moshood Abiola stadium in the state capital where a match past was held.

Addressing the state workers at the occasion, Governor Abiodun appreciated them for their loyalty, professionalism and perseverance in the face of the global socio-economic challenges.

The governor, however, seized the auspicious occasion to promise better years ahead as he promised to settle all outstanding deductions, gratuities and other welfare packages.

In the north, the Kaduna State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led by Ayuba Suleiman, has lamented that the productivity and safety of workers in the state have been largely affected by banditry and terrorism.

The group, therefore, called on the Federal Government to rise up to its responsibility of protecting the lives and property of citizens.

Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya in a goodwill message, described workers as partners in progress, assuring that his administration will continue to sustain and deepen the existing friendly working environment and industrial harmony in the state.

 

Workers’ Day: Obaseki Increases Minimum Wage To N40,000

The Edo Government says it is committed to the welfare of workers. [email protected] GovernorObaseki

 

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Sunday approved N40,000 as the new minimum wage for workers in the state in commemoration of 2022 Workers’ Day.

Obaseki, who made the announcement in Benin while delivering his 2022 Workers’ Day speech, said his government will continue to prioritise the welfare of Edo workers, equipping them with the capacity and environment to deliver efficient and quality service to the people.

READ ALSO: Workers’ Day: Kaduna NLC Laments Incessant Kidnapping Of Members By Bandits

 

“As we all know, the minimum of N30,000 can barely sustain a family. It will be immoral and mindless of us to continue to pretend that we do not know that our workers are suffering,” he said.

“The government of Edo has now decided to review the minimum for Edo workers from N30,000 to N40,000 a month. Undoubtedly, Edo is the first state since the current outbreak of coronavirus to take this initiative.

“Even though we would have loved to pay more, we hope that this little adjustment would enable us to cushion the impact of the inflation that we are faced with. There is no doubt that the financial implications will be heavy and put another burden on the government.

“But as a government, we are prepared to make the sacrifices so that the workers can live a better life. Your welfare is our number one priority.”

While reassuring his government’s relentless support to senior citizens in the state, Obaseki lamented the hardship experienced by pensioners and other senior citizens because of the rising cost of food and other items.

“I am particularly interested in our senior citizens because they are one of the most vulnerable in our society. We took interest in payments of outstanding pensions to our pensioners although these pensions were held by the previous administration.

“In view of the prevailing economic circumstances, I have now approved, effective this May, the agreement we reached with the Union of Pensioners that the harmonized amount would be paid from May 2022.

“Government is aware of the difficulties faced by the pensioners due to the non-payment of pension and gratuities to pensioners by previous governments. This responsibility is huge, and it will require a substantial part of our resources to settle them.

“However, we are not a government that is known for running away from challenges; we will look for a way to tackle these challenges,” the governor added.

Obaseki however urged workers in the state to take advantage of opportunities offered by his administration in the agricultural sector to increase food production in the country.

Earlier in his address, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Odion Olaye, charged the Federal Government to step up efforts to tackle the high rate of insecurity, unemployment, and hunger in the country.

Workers’ Day: We Will Continue To Prioritise Workers’ Welfare – Obaseki

A file photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

 

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured workers in the state that his administration will continue to prioritise their welfare.

Obaseki gave the assurance in a statement to mark the 2022 Workers’ Day on May 1, adding that things have continued to improve since the onset of his administration.

He attributed this to the state’s e-governance strategies, noting that it has improved work processes in the state, automating government systems and ensuring quality service delivery to the Edo people.

Read Also: Nigerian Air Force Boosts Manpower With Additional 1,549 Personnel

“As we mark Workers’ Day, I would like to appreciate workers in the state for their commitment to duty and diligence, which is responsible for the achievements recorded by my administration thus far. Edo people are, today, better off with the improved services provided by workers.

“In the last six years, we have ensured that workers in Edo State are provided with the right environment, tools, and encouraged to deliver optimal services to the people. From reconstructing office buildings, such as the Blocks C & D of the Secretariat Complex to the introduction of e-governance systems and robust welfare packages, workers have experienced a dramatic change in the conditions in which they work in the state.

“The e-governance system makes sure that our workforce is globally competitive and provides top-of-the-range services to the people. The transformation we are witnessing will ensure that the people are better served in the long run.

“It is also impressive that they have paid back in kind by delivering on their roles and responsibilities, which has created the atmosphere for the success of the reforms we have implemented.”

The governor noted that the state will continue to place the interest of workers at the front burner of its institutional reforms, noting that continuous professional development at the John Odigie Oyegun Training Academy will equip them with skills to deepen the reforms in the state.

“We are very intentional about the need to ensure that the reforms we have introduced are sustained and outlive our administration. This is why we introduced the professional development plank in our reform agenda and are sure that these institutional frameworks will ensure that the changes we have introduced stand the test of time in the interest of workers and the development of the state.”

FG Declares Monday, Tuesday Public Holidays To Mark Workers’ Day, Eid-ul-Fitr

A file photo of the Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola. Photo: Facebook/Rauf Aregbesola

 

The Federal Government has declared Monday and Tuesday, May 2 and 3 as public holidays to mark this year’s Workers Day and Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations.

Mr Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior, made the declaration on Thursday on behalf of the Federal Government.

He congratulated workers across the country on the occasion and commended their hard work, diligence, and sacrifice.

The minister believes their efforts are largely responsible for the greatness of the country and the respect Nigeria commands in the comity of nations.

“Labour is the very essence of humanity,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore. “We are alive because we work and only the dead is incapable of working.”

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Aregbesola, therefore, enjoined the workers to imbibe the culture of productivity, saying “The end of work is productivity.

“It is productivity that leads to the satisfactory provision of goods and services and wealth creation. It is, therefore, the path to national and individual prosperity.”

The minister urged workers to raise the bar of their trade in line with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s drive to rev up the vehicle of governance and make all the people of Nigeria derive maximum benefit from the nation.

Similarly, he congratulated all Muslims across the country for the successful completion of the holy month of Ramadan.

Aregbesola called on them to imbibe and practice the virtues of kindness, love, tolerance, peace, self-denial, sacrifice, and good neighbourliness, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him).

“The self-restraint, self-denial, sacrifice, and deep spiritual consciousness that accompanied the fasting period should not end but be maintained and improved upon, in order to be a better person and true worshipper,” he said.

The minister expressed confidence that the security challenges in some parts of the country would soon be a thing of the past, noting that the government was putting determined efforts and all necessary measures in place for Nigerians to enjoy unfettered peace all round.

He assured Nigerians that the administration of President Buhari was fully committed to the security of life and property of every citizen and foreigners alike.

Aregbesola commended all security agencies for the successes recorded in the fight against criminals across the country and the peace that has returned to the formerly embattled places.

He also urged Nigerians to be part of the nation’s security architecture by being vigilant and reporting suspicious individuals and activities to law enforcement agencies nearest to them, noting that security was everybody’s responsibility.

The minister wished all Muslims a happy Eid-ul-Fitr celebration and prayed that the peace, blessings, and favours of Allah be with them.

FG Declares May 3 Public Holiday To Mark Workers Day

A file photo of the Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.

 

 

The Federal Government has declared Monday, May 3, 2021, as a public holiday to mark this year’s International Workers Day Celebration.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, made the announcement in a statement on Thursday.

Aregbesola who congratulated the Nigerian Workers for witnessing this year’s celebration commended them for their patience, understanding, and support in driving the policies and programmes of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, in its determination to move the country to the next level of its socio-economic development.

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He called for more dedication and patriotism from all Nigerian Workers and the Labour Unions, saying the challenges of the moment will soon be over as the government is committed to the security of lives and properties of all Nigerians.

“ The Government is putting all strategies in place to curb the challenges of insecurity in the country.

“I, therefore, call on the Labour Force and all patriotic citizens to be fully committed to the task of putting insecurity to a permanent end as much as possible,” he added.

The minister wished all Nigerian Workers a peaceful May Day Celebration.

 

Workers’ Day: Gbajabiamila Salutes Nigerian Workers, Tasks Them On Productivity

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has congratulated Nigerian workers in commemoration of this year’s International Workers’ Day.

Gbajabiamila said although the day is being marked quietly across the globe as a result of the lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is much to remember about the sacrifices made by Nigerian workers.

The Speaker, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, commended Nigerian workers for their commitment and dedication to work over the years, which he said has shaped the country tremendously.

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“I want to salute the courage of Nigerian workers, who have over the years given their best to their work. Indeed Nigeria and Nigerians are proud of you.

“I urge the Nigerian workers to redouble their efforts at this time of our national development. They must continue to put in their best in the work that they do for the betterment of the country,” Gbajabiamila said

The Speaker, then, called on Nigerian workers to be more productive now and always, saying what was achieved before now must be sustained and improved upon.

Nigeria Marks Workers’ Day On Low-Key Amid COVID-19 Restrictions

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

 

Today is International Workers Day or Labour Day, observed each year on May 1 to celebrate the achievements and sacrifices of the workers.

It also is a day used to highlight the dangers faced by the working class in the course of carrying out their routine activities.

This year’s workers day, however, comes amid the ravaging coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has spread to almost all the countries of the world, leaving almost two million people infected and more than one hundred thousand dead.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Reports Highest Single-Day COVID-19 Cases, Seven More Deaths

The pandemic has also negatively impacted the economies of many countries, worsening the conditions of many workers.

This has resulted in a health crisis that has thrown up issues concerning the welfare of workers, especially those currently in the frontline of the battle to curb the spread of coronavirus and provide care for those already infected by the virus.

Labour Day, also known as May Day, is observed as a public holiday in countries around the world, including Nigeria.

The day is usually marked with public rallies and demonstrations in various states across Nigeria to draw the attention of the government and employees of labour to the plight of workers, as promoted by the International Labour Movement.

However, no such public gathering is taking place this time, in view of the restrictions imposed by the government as part of measures to tackle COVID-19, especially regarding the need to maintain social distancing.

In declaring the day a public holiday on behalf of the Federal Government, the Ministry of Interior, commended Nigerian workers for their resilience, patience and understanding, particularly in their support of the present administration’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Buhari Is ‘Extremely’ Concerned About Nigerian Workers, Unemployed – Enang

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang, says President Muhammadu Buhari is extremely worried about Nigerian workers and the unemployed.

He stated this on Wednesday during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“President Buhari’s administration is extremely concerned about not just the Nigerian workers but those who are qualified to be employed and are not yet employed.

“And of course, the Federal Government is also committed to those who are unemployed. That is why you have the Ministry of Labour is called the Ministry of Employment, Labour and Productivity,” he stated.

While noting that it is impossible for the government to engage every Nigerian into the civil service, he, however, stated that the current administration is working hard to address the unemployment challenge.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang.

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He noted that Buhari’s government has created a business-friendly environment and policies that would help the private and public sectors to strive.

When asked if his principal’s absence will affect the 2019 budget from being signed into law, the presidential aide responded in the negative.

He explained that though the Senate has passed the budget, the House of Representatives is yet to do so.

According to Enang, once it is passed by both chambers of the National Assembly, the Clerk would compare notes to ensure that figures tally before transmitting it to the President for assent.

Despite the challenge notwithstanding, Enang insisted saying, “the President is on duty.”

I Will Increase Minimum Wage If We Improve On Revenue, Obaseki Tells Workers

Obaseki

 

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has promised to increase the new minimum wage recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He revealed this during a rally to mark the 2019 May Day celebration which held at the University of Benin Sports Complex in Benin City, the state capital.

Speaking on the theme, “Another 100 years of struggle for jobs, dignity and social justice in Nigeria,” the governor noted that the increment would take place if the workers work hard to increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.

“If we can improve on our revenue, I will increase our minimum wage. We should make sure we commit ourselves to higher productivity,” he stated.

On the implementation of the new minimum wage, Obaseki stated that the state government would set up a joint committee while awaiting further guidelines for the payment from the National Salary and Wages Commission.

READ ALSO: NLC President Wants Implementation Of New Minimum Wage Backdated To April

He also promised the workers that his administration is working on plans to harmonize pension based on the new minimum wage, stressing that the payment of backlog of pension and gratuity arrears is underway.

Reacting, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Comrade Sunday Osayande commended the governor for seeing to the welfare of the workers.

“We commend our governor for creating the atmosphere in the state for investors to contribute to our development as jobs have been created in the state under the Obaseki-led administration”

“We also commend Obaseki for the infrastructural development in the state especially on the construction of roads across the state. Thank you for the prompt payment of workers’ salaries, payment of pension arrears, as pensioners are smiling today,” he stated.

Similarly, Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Marshall Ohue, thanked the governor for making the state suitable for businesses to thrive through positive economic policies.

Ganduje Promises To Implement New Minimum Wage

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, speaks at the Sani Abacha Stadium on the Workers Day celebrations on May 1, 2019.

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has promised to implement the new minimum wage of N30,000 for workers in the state.

He made this promise on Wednesday during the annual Workers’ Day celebration which held at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano, the state capital.

While pledging to maintain the harmonious working relationship between workers and the state government, the governor pledged his administration will among other things train and retrain the labour force.

“The first thing we are expecting is the implementation of the minimum wage which is very important.

READ ALSO: Workers Mark May Day Across The Nation

“Also, the issue of training and retraining, the issue of promotion. We shall give everything to this very important aspect. We shall give it our priority,” he stated.

Ganduje facilitated with the nation’s labourers, stressing the need for a symbiotic relationship between employers and employees.

On his part, he noted that the state government has marked out a series of activities to honour the workers.

According to him, the state introduced an award night meant to celebrate dedicated and hardworking staff and also employers.

Calls For New Minimum Wage Dominate Workers’ Day Activities

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode addresses the state workers at the Agege Stadium on the occasion of the Workers Day celebrations on Tuesday

 

As Nigerians join their counterparts from across the world to celebrate the International Workers’ Day, they are calling on the Federal Government to improve the welfare of the labour force.

Top on their demand list is the call for the government at all levels to increase the minimum wage from N18,000 to N66,500.

In Abuja, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) urged the Federal Government to approve the amount demanded by the workers and warned that it would not accept non-compliance with a new minimum wage when passed.

It also threatened to vote out any government that fails to comply with a new wage.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, issued the threat on Tuesday in Abuja in his message to the Nigerian workers to celebrate May Day 2018.

“We are battle ready against public and private organisations that would refuse to conform to the new minimum wage. “At our disposal is the power of our votes,” NLC President Mr Ayuba Wabba, said.

“We shall ensure that governments that refuse to pay the new minimum wage will not receive the support of the working class, pensioners and their families.”

The demand was supported by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr Yakubu Dogara, among others.

Ekweremadu is of the opinion that even if the workers cannot have their desired amount, they should be paid at least N50,000 to meet up to the current realities in the country.

On his part, the Speaker who hailed workers for their contribution to national development and growth, promised that the National Assembly would expedite the passage of the Minimum Wage Bill once the National Minimum Wage Committee has completed its task and the executive forward a bill for the review of the wage to them.

Across the states of the federation, workers gathered at different venues to mark the Workers’ Day.

Niger State civil servants present a 10-point demand to Governor Abubakar Bello as they mark Workers Day.

 

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, assures workers in the state of his administration’s commitment in meeting their welfare in this year’s Workers Day celebrations held in Asaba, the state capital on Tuesday.

 

Workers Day celebration in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.

 

Workers Day celebration in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Tuesday

 

Scene from Bayelsa State of the 2018 Workers Day celebrations