Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured public servants that the implementation of the new national minimum wage would commence soon.
He also advised state governments and employers in the private sector to work towards providing a living wage for their workers
President Buhari who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha at the 11th triennial delegates’ conference of the Trade
Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), said as a result of several reforms embarked upon by the government, the Nigerian economy is expected to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2019.
He asked state government and the private sector to implement the minimum wage as a way of encouraging workers to contribute to the development of the country, adding that his government will continue to pay particular attention to the welfare of workers.
While expressing concern over the level of insecurity in the country, the president said that the government was working hard to defeat all forms of insecurity in the country, including terrorism, kidnapping as well as farmers/herders clashes.
Buhari, who added that the security challenges in the country is not insurmountable, also assured that his government remains committed to making Nigeria a better place.
He further disclosed that the government was “mapping out policy measures and laws that will help to maintain our unity and at the same time lift the bulk of our people out of poverty and on the road to prosperity.
“The security challenges we are currently facing are not unsurmountable. I can report that we are meeting these challenges with much greater support to the security forces in terms of funding equipment and improved local intelligence.
“We are meeting these challenges with superior strategy, firepower and resolve. I can assure you that we will win the war against terrorism, kidnapping, banditry and farmers-headers clashes,” he said.
He noted that since he took over the mantle of leadership in the country, he has been working to build a solid foundation for the country
“These efforts have begun to yield results. The economy is making a steady progress and our GDP is expected to grow by 2.7 per cent the year. Our external reserves have risen to $45 billion and can finance a number of our foreign commitments.
“With the steps taken to integrate rural economies to the national grid, provide credits and inputs to rural farmers and micro-businesses as well as providing the enabling environment for business in Nigeria, our people will be liberated from the shackles of poverty. We will try to create 10 million jobs yearly to continue to boost our economy and make life better for our people.
“Our government will continue to improve on our New Development Plans and initiatives. We will concentrate on agriculture, education, power and other infrastructure, manufacturing and social intervention schemes. We will promote good governance and fight corruption to a standstill.
“This government will continue to build institutions and machineries to fight corruption. If we don’t kill corruption now, we will not have a country to handover to our unborn generation. Hence the need for everyone to be involved in this fight to finish,” he said.
Buhari assured that the executive arm of government was committed to having a smooth and good working relationship with the labour unions in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the President of the TUC, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, has lamented that the situation in Nigeria has degenerated to the level of anarchy and absurdity as hardly a day passes without new killings through assassination, kidnapping, and suicide bombing.
He said the Nigerian economy was in dire straits, regretting that those who have the responsibility to manage it are not showing promising signs that they know how to fix it.