As Nigerian workers join their counterparts across the world to mark Workers’ Day, also known as May Day or Labour Day, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has tasked some governors on the welfare and security of workers, while commending those it perceived to be doing well.
Bemoaning the continued security challenges in parts of Katsina State, NLC called on the incoming administration to redouble efforts at tackling the problem.
Speaking on behalf of sister unions during the May Day commemoration at the Muhammad Dikko Stadium in the state capital, the Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state, Muntari Ruma, lamented that except politicians and related persons that enjoy security protection in the state, many residents were unable to go about their normal businesses and places of worship.
He acknowledged the efforts of the Governor Aminu Masari administration to address the situation, stressing the need for more security measures.
NLC also called on Masari to pay backlog of gratuities for retirees at the state and local councils.
KEBBI State chapter of NLC has appealed to the out-going governor, Abubakar Bagudu, to approve the harmonisation of three increments of pensions, which are 12 per cent, 15 per cent and 33 per cent agreed to at different times but not approved 29 days to his exit as governor.
The congress also demanded the implementation of the 30 per cent consequential adjustment occasioned by the approval of N30,000 minimum wage of April 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Chairman of NLC in Kebbi, Murtala Usman, urged the state government to pay the gratuity omitted in 2017 and 2018, as well as implement hazard allowance for nurses and midwives, salary adjustment for lecturers and improve security of the health workers.
However, it commended Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State for the prompt payment of workers’ salaries, gratuity and leave transport grants.
According to the congress, the promotional benefits and payment of pension are worthy of applaud.
Borno NLC Chairman, Yusuf Inuwa, made the commendations, yesterday, at Ramat Square, Maiduguri, during a May Day event with the theme, ‘Workers’ Right and Socio-Economic Justice’.
In Kano State, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has said his government sustained industrial harmony and cordial working relationship with workers in the state in the last eight years. He boasted of paying salaries as and when due, even when the country went into economic recession.
In his farewell speech, yesterday, during the May Day celebration at the Sani Abacha International Stadium, Kofar Mata, Ganduje applauded NLC for the maturity in upholding the principle of collective bargaining in their agitations.
But the governor-elect, Abba Yusuf, has vowed to review the recent promotion and recruitment exercise of Ganduje’s administration.
In what was described as “job racketeering and nepotism in staff recruitment,” the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) governor-elect insisted there was need to restore credibility to the exercise.
“Our administration will revisit the job racketeering and nepotism in staff recruitment, which the outgoing government is recklessly conducting, and ensure a credible recruitment process for all citizens,” he said.
Ganduje, in another vein, described industrial action as avoidable, and urged workers unions to find better ways of settling industrial disputes.
In his remarks, NLC Chairman in Kano, Kabiru Inuwa, described the day as, “a reminder of the tireless efforts of every worker in building and shaping our society.”
Benue State governor-elect, Rev Fr. Hyacinth Alia, has implored civil servants in the state to remain steadfast, assuring that good days are just by the corner.
This was contained in his goodwill message to Benue workers, yesterday.
He described the civil service as the engine room of every functional government, regretting, however, that the Benue civil service “has become comatose, with a backlog of salaries, pensions and gratuities.”
Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, on his part, urged workers to be more efficient and productive in the discharge of their duties for the progress and development of the state.
He stated this in Minna, yesterday, during the Workers’ Day celebration.
The statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mrs. Mary Berje, indicated that the governor, said although he is leaving office in a couple of days, he is still concerned with the huge wage bill of the state, which remained static, and the lingering anomalies in the civil service over the years.
Bello congratulated the new NLC leadership in the state led by Lafene Idris, assuring them of the state government’s partnership with organised labour to systematically tackle most of the challenges of civil servants in the state.