CSOs, Falana Seek Implementation of Extant Welfare Laws for Workers


Our Correspondent
As Nigeria yesterday joined the rest of the world to mark the Workers’ Day, civil society organisations CSOs) and a human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, have called on the labour unions to take advantage of this year’s May Day celebration to adopt concrete measures that will compel the various tiers of government to implement all extant welfare laws and policies

In his May Day message to workers, Falana described these welfare laws and policies as the products of the collective struggle of the labour movement and other progressive forces in the country.

The rights activist identified some of the welfare laws to include the National Minimum Wage Act, National Health Act, National Health insurance Act, National Housing Act, Federal Morgage Act, Pension Reforms Act, Compulsory, Free and Universal Basic Education Act, Nigerian Education Bank Act and People’s Bank Act.

He noted that the demand for a new minimum wage by Nigerian workers was long overdue as a result of the depreciating quality of life caused by the gross mismanagement of the Nigerian economy by the ruling class with the connivance of imperialism.

According to him, the deliberate policy of successive governments to breach the provisions of the aforesaid welfare laws has compounded the crisis of youth unemployment and mass poverty in the country.

Wike: Labour Has Failed Nigerians
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that labour has failed Nigerians by refusing to act in the face of unbridled killings of defenceless Nigerians across the country.
The governor said it is uncharitable for labour to be only concerned about salary increment when their kith and kin are mauled to the death on a daily basis. In an address during the 2018 Workers’ Day in Port Harcourt, Wike said: “Labour is only after the increment of wages and emoluments without showing concern for the mass killings going on across different states of the federation.

“Labour is quiet in the face of deaths. Of what benefit will increment of salaries be when all your children, friends and relatives are killed in the face of this national insecurity? It is incumbent on labour to rise up in defence of Nigerians by demanding for immediate cessation of killings.”

Sokoto Assures Workers of Improved Welfare
Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday reiterated the commitment of his administration to improve the welfare of civil servants in the state.
Tambuwal gave the assurance at the 2018 Workers’ Day held at the Giginya Memorial Stadium in Sokoto.

He said the state government had accorded priority to the enhancement of the welfare of the civil servants in the state. According to him, this include training and retraining of civil servants, prompt payment of salaries as well as the settlement of accumulated gratuities and pension to the tune of over N5 billion.

Others were sale of government quarters to civil servants and recruitment of 2,000 teachers under the State Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB), among others.

Nasarawa NLC Decries Deterioration in Pension Administration
The Nasarawa State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has decried the deterioration in the administration of pension in the state.
The state Chairman of the council, Abdullahi Adeka, stated this yesterday during this year workers’ day celebration in Lafia.
The state NLC chairman further lamented cases where workers left service and waited for a year for their pension to be processed.

Consequently, Adeka called on the state government to among other things, pay 100 per cent monthly pension to all pensioners, sustain the monthly payment of gratuities to pensioners as pronounced by the state Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, in January 2018.
According to him, “Government should reconsider the issue of ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy and direct the payment of 100 percent monthly salary to local government workers.

However, Governor Al-Makura said in his determination to provide succour to the state’s pensioners, government released the sum of N300 million last year for the payment of gratuity to state government retirees with emphasis on the sick, widows, widowers, the physically challenged, the aged and other disadvantaged groups in the society.

Amosun Commends Ogun Workers, Assures Them of Improved Welfare
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has commended as well as assured the state workers of his administration plan to improve their welfare packages.

In his address delivered at the workers’ day celebration in Abeokuta, the state capital, yesterday, Amosun pledged that his administration would never take the workers for granted, rather, it would continue to attend to their welfare.
“Let me reiterate that our administration will neither take you for granted nor refuse to continue to attend to your welfare. Let me assure you that your promotion, dues as well as other benefits have always engaged our attention.”

Edo to Recruit, Promote, Provide Social Housing for Workers

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has rolled out bumper package for workers, job seekers and pensioners in the state which includes recruitment of new hands, approval of outstanding promotions and provision of social housing for workers in the state.
The governor also said outstanding issues with pension arrears payment are being addressed as he has approved the release of N1.5billion from the Paris Fund Refund to liquidate the outstanding local government pension arrears.
Speaking to workers on the commemoration of the 2018 Workers’ Day at the University of Benin Sports Complex, Benin-city, the governor said the workers have been supportive and instrumental to the successes recorded in the state.

Okowa Says Workers are Assets to Policy, Project Implementation

As 2018 Workers’ Day was celebrated all over the world yesterday, Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has praised workers in the state as valuable assets in any policy, programme and project implementation.
Okowa, amid applause from cheering workers, reeled out his administration achievements in meeting with his electoral promises to workers at the celebration which took place in Asaba.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) organised the event which featured march past by members of their unions.

According to the governor, “This administration is constantly aware of the sacrifices of workers and their contributions to the development of our dear state and country; our workers remain unarguably very important assets in any policy, programme and project implementation, and that is why the present administration has sought and will continue to seek the hands of labour so that together, we can attain the enviable heights of progress in our beloved state.”

Bauchi Gov Urges Workers to Embrace Dialogue in Resolving Disputes

As the world celebrates the 2018 International Workers’ Day, Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, has urged workers in the state to adopt the modern concept of unionism where dialogue is emphasised as against industrial action in resolving industrial disputes.

The governor, who made this appeal in an address during the celebration of workers’ day yesterday, appreciated the state chapter of the organised labour for maintaining good rapport with the state government.
Abubakar therefore appealed to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and workers to ensure that the rapport and cooperation continued in the interest of the state, while his administration strives to serve the people in the face of paucity of resources.

Ghost Workers Still Exist in Niger, Says Gov
Niger State Governor Alhaji Abubakar Bello, yesterday declared that “ghost workers still exist in the civil service” despite the series of staff verifications carried out by the administration.
Bello alleged that it had recently been discovered that some workers “are receiving salaries and allowances of between three and five staff monthly.”
The governor made the revelation when he addressed workers at the 123 field as part of activities marking this year’s May Day.

The governor, however, did not say if some workers had been arrested or the amount the government had lost to the ghost workers.
Bello therefore warned that anyone caught in the act would not only be dismissed but would be prosecuted.
Meanwhile, the state Chairman of the NLC, Ndako Idris, lamented the poor condition under which workers are working in the state, and called for improvement.

Despite Bomb Scare, Kogi NLC Holds Celebration
The organised labour in Kogi State yesterday dispelled bomb scare rumours to mark this year May Day celebration at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja.
Last Monday, operatives of the Bomb Dispose Unit of the Nigeria Police was drafted to comb the stadium in Lokoja when it was alleged that bomb was planted within the stadium before the event.

However, yesterday the venue was combed again by the bomb unit of the police to make sure the area was safe before workers in the state stormed the venue for this year May Day celebration.
Meanwhile, the state organised labour has called on the state government to execute a serious auditing of salary payment in the last two years to unravel the causes of non-payment of monthly salaries despite the bailout and Paris Club refund enjoyed by the state.

Addressing members of the union yesterday at the stadium in Lokoja, the state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Onuh Edoka, lamented that despite the release of N1.9 trillion by the federal government and shared by the states government to settle issues of salaries, many workers especially in Kogi State have not gotten their salaries till date.

Enugu Workers Seek Revitalisation of Moribund Companies
Workers in Enugu State yesterday joined their colleagues all over the country to celebrate this year’s May Day, even as they tasked the state government to revamp key industries, companies and corporations in the state in order to create more job opportunities to the teeming youths.

This was contained in the addresses to mark the celebration by the state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Virginus Nwobodo, and Chairman of the state Trade Union Congress (TUC), Chukwuma Igbokwe.

They also made case for the “payment of pensions and gratuities/harmonisation of arrears of salaries, implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme in the state; absorption of the remaining workers in the government parastatals into the requisite ministries, and ensure they receive their salaries alongside other state workers.”

While commending the state Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for his friendly disposition to the labour matters, they however urged him to award contracts to labour friendly firms especially in the area of construction of road and buildings.