…appeal for resolution of FG/ASUU face-off
Former Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi, has called on Nigerian workers to remain resolute in their contributions to building a better nation for all, irrespective of the present challenges confronting almost everyone in the nation.
Obi made the call in his message to mark this year’s Workers Day.
He restated the need to move the country from the ‘sharing and consumption mentality’ to a creative and productive country. He said that this could be achieved when workers and all Nigerians carry out their duties productively, for the sake of the country, rather than being transactional for their personal interests.
Decrying the high cost of living, which is worse on workers, Obi urged workers to commit themselves to increased productivity, which will translate to increased government revenue and subsequently an increase in the welfare of workers. He urged the government to find ways to pay outstanding pensions and gratuities, and honour agreements with workers, especially that with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), so as to end the ongoing strike and enable children to go back to school.
Similarly, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his May Day message commended workers for their immense contributions to the development of the nation.
His words: “Nigerian workers deserve our appreciation and respect for their contributions to the development of our country. I also salute them for their patriotic cooperation with the government and other institutions in the collective efforts to address societal challenges.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that Labour creates wealth for the nation, the more reason that the welfare of the Nigerian workers should always be accorded priority.
“As Parliament, the National Assembly will continue to partner with the Organised Labour in addressing issues that affect workers and the generality of the Nigerian people.”
Lawan appealed for a speedy and amicable resolution of the ongoing negotiations between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to ensure that universities reopen for learning and research.
Frontline PDP presidential aspirant, Anyim Pius Anyim, who also commended Nigerian workers for their steadfastness and determination to put in their best despite their harsh economic realities of the day, lamented the downturn in the quality of the life of workers in the country caused by bad economic situation which has made the living condition of members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the entire working class both in the public and private sectors a nightmare.
Anyim cited high rate of inflation, underemployment, salary delays, and salary denials as some of the major economic challenges facing workers as well as myriads of non-economic factors that have brought pains to workers in the country.
He praised Nigerian workers for continuing to put in their best despite the difficult work environment and conditions, describing workers as genuine patriots.
He urged them not to be demoralised by the situation of things, assuring them that by the grace of God, the on-going political transition would enthrone a new government in 2023 that would be mindful of the plight of workers, competent in the management of economy and be able to reverse the pains of today.