Deji Elumoye and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its presidential candidate in the 2019 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, have congratulated Nigerian workers on this year’s Workers Day, saying that the workers’ unions in Nigeria have been a critical partner in the economic development of the country.
The PDP presidential candidate eulogised the various labour unions in Nigeria for being dependable watchdogs that serve the interest of the Nigerian people.
Atiku, in a statement he personally signed yesterday, urged the organised labour under their various professional unions to embrace the paths of peace, harmony and national unity in all their engagements with employers of labour and governments at all levels.
“I want to join several other well-wishers to celebrate with Nigerian workers on today’s Workers Day and also to assure the labour unions of an acknowledgement of their great sacrifices for the country,
“The labour and sweat of Nigerian workers constitute the engine and lubricants of our economic growth and national development.
“Over the years, the various labour unions in Nigeria have played pivotal intermediary role between the government and the people and the most recent of which is the agitation for increased minimum wage of N30,000.
‘’I congratulate the labour unions in Nigeria for this feat and I believe that with the same kind of determination, it is possible to further improve the lots of the Nigerian worker’’, Atiku stated.
Saluting all Nigerian workers on the occasion of 2019 Workers Day, for their service towards the stability and development of the country, the main opposition party said it was rather unfortunate that Nigerian workers found themselves operating under an inept administration that does not appreciate their inputs and has no tangible strategy for their much-needed capacity building and reward system, but only relishes in Greek gifts and official bullying.
The party also acknowledged that the patriotism and resilience of the workers, particularly for remaining steadfast to the course of nation- building, in spite of the harsh economic conditions foisted on them by the “overtly corrupt, incompetent and grossly insensitive,’’ President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said that the Buhari-led administration must elevate its discourse in understanding that workers welfare is not tied to a minimum wage but in creating conducive working environment, established capacity building and reward system as well as a secure and economically viable environment that enable the workers, and indeed all Nigerians to meet their social and economic needs without stress.
The PDP therefore cautioned against such unproductive tendencies, adding that the N30,000 minimum wage should not be a justification for any form of bullying or victimisation against the workers.
On his part, Saraki praised Nigerian workers for their tireless contribution to the socio-economic development of the country, despite fluctuating economic realities.
Saraki, in a message of goodwill to mark this year’s Workers’ Day celebration, signed by his Media Adviser, Yusuph Olaniyonu, also commended the leadership and members of the organised labour for their patriotism in often choosing dialogue rather than industrial action in resolving trade disputes.
He expressed hope that workers would be encouraged to always put in their best in working to uplift and sustain the nation’s economy, in view of the recent signing into law of a new minimum wage of N30,000.
According to him, “No nation can develop without a virile and agile workforce. It is trite to say that workers are the mainstay of our nation’s economy, since no policy of government, no matter how remote, will succeed without the commitment and collaboration of workers saddled with implementation”.