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Nigerian workers demand healthy recognition

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By Mercy Kelani

Workers’ Union requests for protection in the right legal environment.

At the commemoration of the 2023 International Workers’ Day, the National Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) appealed to the Federal Government to put an end to any programme that has a likelihood of suffering workers and citizens as Nigerian workers are prepared to resist this form of action from the government. To ensure protection of workers in the right legal environment, the Union has requested deepened engagements at the National Labour Administrative Council NLAC, expansion of meetings periodicity, facilitation of the trade dispute resolution mechanism and others.

TUC President, Festus Osifor, listed the Union’s demand to the government stating that there should be quick intervention by the government to stop resumed activities of bandits and kidnappers after the elections. The judiciary is requested to purge itself and fulfill the Union’s democracy by attending to the election petitions on the table. Organization of an independent panel for investigation of the INEC Chairman and his team in their mode of conducting the last general election. Also, investigation of the N12 billion by the Ministry of Aviation to purchase 10 fire trucks should be done.

This years theme is “Workers’ Rights and Socio-economic Justice.”

President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, asserted that celebration of Worker’s Day is not commemorated because workers are provided with all the necessary needs for their welfare, or because every form labour was the fight and determination to fight is worthy of emulation. The celebration is seen as a recognition of the Union’s fundamental role in ensuring that there is life in societies. The continuous commemoration of the International Workers’ Day is as a result of the pristine duty of workers to enable global sustainability.

2023’s theme for this commemoration is “Workers’ Rights and Socio-economic Justice.” Speaking on this theme, the NLC President stated that the government cannot continue to pauperize workers and expect them to deliver well. Treatment in the world of work affects workers either positively or negatively, determining whether a worker should withdraw or commit more to work. Therefore, the president said if social partners request more work delivery and increment of productivity, workers should be treated better as humans and as key drivers of wealth creation.

FG has launched services and initiatives to create jobs.

The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, stated that the current administration has organized several projects and initiatives like the National Enterprise Development Programme, the Nigerian Social Investment Fund, the Youth Entrepreneurship Support Programme, and the National Technology Development Programme. These strategies are mainly organized for provision of jobs, and assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises. According to the president, they are landmark changes with worthy achievements.

Commenting on the situation, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said that the President of the federation launched the National Social Investment Programme in 2016. Presently, this project is the largest of its kind in Africa and one of the largest across the globe. The National Social Register of Poor and Vulnerable Nigerians (NSR) now records over 32 million persons from about 7 million poor and vulnerable families. These households are identified across 708 Local Governments from the country, including 36 states , including the FCT.

CBN provides N200 billion for financing facility.

Additionally, The Family Homes Fund Limited (FHFL), incorporated by the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the Housing sector, in September 2016, is in charge of implementing the National Social Housing scheme of the Buhari administration. Under this programme, Nigerians will be granted a minimum of 15 years with a monthly payment at a 6 percent interest rate to pay for each housing unit. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), under endorsement of the Federal Government of Nigeria, is responsible for provision of N200 billion for financing facility.

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