May Day: Tinubu promises better working conditions, fair wages for workers

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President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday pledged better living and working conditions for all Nigerians of working age, saying the “custodians of the nation’s machinery deserve a fair wage and enhanced welfare.”

 

Tinubu made this pledge in his maiden May Day message dedicated to workers nationwide.

 

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Ajuri Ngelale, conveyed the President’s remarks in a statement he signed Wednesday titled ‘President Tinubu salutes Nigerian workers on May Day.’

 

According to Ngelale, the President affirmed that his administration remains committed to improving the welfare of all workers, noting the various relief programmes, including the wage award and the imminent minimum wage review.

 

“President Tinubu strongly believes that the custodians of the nation’s machinery deserve a fair wage and enhanced welfare and that a labourer is deserving of not just any reward but fair and commensurate wages.

 

“The President assures Nigerian workers of his dedication to not only improving their welfare but also enhancing their working conditions and providing the necessary tools for them to succeed,” the statement read.

 

His remarks come amid a cost of living crisis believed to be the aftermath of hardline economic reforms pursued by his administration.

 

When he assumed office on May 29, 2023, Tinubu implemented the discontinuance of subsidies on petrol as approved by the immediate past administration of Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The move, he posited, would save the government money for massive infrastructural expansion.

 

Tinubu also unified the foreign exchange rates to, among other things, curb currency arbitrage and other forms of forex malpractices.

 

However, these steps sparked collateral instability in the value of the Naira and heaped hardship on Nigerians as food prices soared.

 

While speaking at a high-level panel session at the World Economic Forum Special Meeting in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, April 28, Tinubu defended the removal of the petrol subsidy as a “necessary action for my country not to go bankrupt” and to “reset the economy towards growth.”

 

On May Day, President Tinubu saluted Nigerian workers for their “fidelity to the peace, progress, and development of the nation evident in their tireless efforts and patriotic zeal to keep the national engine running.”

 

He commended the workers across all spheres, from the clerical officer who ensures the proper documentation and distribution of correspondence; the security officer who remains ever dutiful through all seasons; and the teacher who secures the future of our nation by imparting knowledge to the next generation; the doctor who works relentlessly to save precious lives; and all Nigerian workers who keep the candle aflame.

 

“The President wishes Nigerian workers Happy May Day celebrations,” the statement concluded.

 

Workers’ Day celebration in Nigeria owes its origins to the People’s Redemption Party government in Kaduna and Kano, which in 1980 adopted May 1 as a public holiday for the commemoration of International Workers Day.

 

In 1981, the Federal Government under Shehu Shagari, declared May 1 as a national holiday to celebrate International Workers’ Day.

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