May Day: APC, PDP, others felicitate with Nigerian workers

May Day celebration used to illustrate the story
May Day celebration used to illustrate the story

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has extended its good wishes and greetings to all Nigerian workers on this year’s May Day celebration.

The APC, in a statement by its spokesperson, Bolaji Abdullahi, described Nigerian workers as key drivers of development despite the challenges they face.

“Unarguably, the Nigerian workers remain one of the most dedicated, resilient and hardworking in the world. They remain a key driver of the country’s multi-facet development.

“Despite challenges particularly on the economy, we celebrate Nigerian workers for staying positive and being a partner in nation-building as well as contributing towards efforts to take the country to its deserved heights.”

The party called on labour and trade unions in the country to continue ongoing dialogue with the government aimed at improving workers’ salaries and general welfare.

Also the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while celebrating Nigerian workers in a statement called on workers to stand up for democracy and against what it described as incessant constitutional violations and interferences.

“Nigerian workers must also not spare any energy in raising a strong voice against the violation of human rights and manifest insensitivity of the Buhari administration to the unabated mass killing of compatriots in Benue, Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa, Yobe, Borno, Plateau, Zamfara and other parts of our country by marauders and insurgents.

“Our labour force must also speak out against harsh anti-people policies and the corruption ravaging the Buhari administration, leading to the collapse of our once robust economy with loss of over 24 million jobs and attendant acute hardship, poverty and destitution in our country today.

“Furthermore, we urge our workers to defend our democracy by standing against incessant constitutional violations, interferences and invasion of the legislature and the judiciary, persecution and harassment of opposition and lack of transparency in the system,” it said.

In a similar message, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Monday pledged the support of the National Assembly to Nigerian workers as he saluted their resilience, dedication and contributions to national development.

He said this in his workers’ day message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu. He described Nigerian workers as the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.

While he promised that the National Assembly under his leadership will support all efforts aimed at ensuring workers are adequately rewarded and well catered for, Mr Saraki called on workers to continue to put in their best in any sector they find themselves, stating that their efforts shall never be in vain.

“There can be no economic growth without the contribution of workers and there can be no national development without economic development,” Mr Saraki said. “Our workers play crucial roles in all we attain as a nation and that fact needs to be recognised always.”

“On this Workers’ Day 2018 celebrations, I salute all Nigerian workers for their sacrifice and resilience in the face of dwindling economic fortunes.”

The senator urged workers not to relent in their efforts to help grow the economy in particular and the National in general, adding that “the National Assembly will always support all efforts geared towards improving their remuneration and general conditions of service and living.

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“Workers represent the mainstay of our economy because without them, there could be no economic activity of any kind, whether online or offline, digital or manual,” he said.

Also, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, commended the resilience of the Nigerian workers as he assured that talks on new minimum wage were still ongoing.

In a goodwill message to Nigerian workers on this year’s Workers’ Day, the minister recalled their historic role across decades urging them to stand firm with President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.

Mr Ngige explained that the cardinal objective of the present administration is the revival of the economy, enhancement of the security of the nation and zero tolerance for corruption. He said the federal government has so far covered a considerable millage notwithstanding teething challenges.

He therefore solicited for continued support towards “bringing these national goals to fruition.”

The minister further assured of the commitment of President Buhari to the enhancement of workers’ welfare and prosperity for all citizens. He charged them to use the occasion to reminisce on the positive outcomes of labour’s struggle for a better working rights and decent work environment.

“This is an administration that places a lot of premium on the welfare of workers and all citizenry and has done so in very transparent manner. Our openness is to provide enough window for all Nigerians to appreciate the state of the nation and the efforts of the government.

“Our modest achievement in creating equable condition for job security and improved welfare for workers, as evident in the fact that ‘no federal civil or public servant has lost his or her job in the last three years of the administration despite economic downturn’, as well as the ongoing effort to give effect to a new national minimum wage easily bear out federal government’s commitment to the upliftment of the workforce.

“This year’s celebration therefore presents an opportunity for a collective reflection on the contributions of the labour movement to national growth on the one hand and the steadfastness of the Buhari administration to the welfare of workers on the other,” he said.

Workers’ Day in Nigeria, also known as May Day or Labour Day, is also a public holiday in many countries worldwide, but the date varies across countries.

May Day as a holiday was first declared by the People Redemption Party (PRP) Government of Kano State in 1980 and became a national holiday on May 1, 1981.

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