President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday urged the incoming administration to be led by the President-elect Bola Tinubu to continue to respect workers’ rights.
He said it is imperative to observe the four pillars of decent work which include promoting jobs and enterprises, guaranteeing rights at work, extending social protection and promoting social dialogue.
According to him, all the pillars are for consensus building and maintenance of a sound national industrial relations system.
Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, spoke at the Workers’ Day celebration at the Eagle Square, Abuja, the venue of the celebrations. He said the elements of decent work concur with his commitment to reduce poverty and forge a path to achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development, and ultimately peace and security in communities. The president said, “The government affirms the need for the enthronement of decent work which sums up the aspiration that all people have for their working lives; for work that is productive, delivers a fair income with security and social protection, safeguards basic rights, offers equality of opportunity and treatment, prospects for personal development and the chance for recognition and to have your voice heard.
“These elements of decent work concur with our commitment to reduce poverty and forge a path to achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development, and ultimately peace and security in communities.
“Workers’ rights coupled with socio-economic justice make a happy workplace. We therefore agree that a fair economic structure targeted at creating opportunities for all to succeed irrespective of sex, race/ethnicity, age, disability, creed, religion, etc. is sine qua non for progress and development.
“Once again, it is Workers’ Day popularly and globally known as May Day. It is a day set aside for the celebration of workers and their immeasurable contribution to the wealth of nations. The day has its root in the historical struggles to gain the attribute of dignity in labour. It came with a price of heroes past commemorated in the world of work to remind us that labour as a tool of production has been a “voice” and that “voice” has to be heard in our quest for sustainable development and economic growth.”
Speaking further, he said: “With the help of these Institutions, a conglomeration of rights and principles pertaining to workers’ rights have been enunciated and some of those rights have been identified as fundamental and as such have been entrenched as a yardstick for compliance amongst nations in terms of workers’ right violations or promotion.
“I regard the theme for this year’s celebration as apropos considering that this marks my last attendance at the nation’s May Day’s celebration in my capacity as the President and Commander – in – Chief of the Armed Forces. We have gone through the trios of negotiations and collective bargaining mechanisms utilising the Instrument of social dialogue and like in any other human relationships, sometimes we disagree to agree or agree to disagree but always progressively seeking a consensus for a better society and economic growth.”