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Published On: Thu, May 1st, 2014

Workers decry poor conditions

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NLC President, Omar

  • Lament rising insecurity 
  • Harp on speedy rescue of abducted girls

From our correspondents

Nigerian workers across the country yesterday celebrated the workers day on a somber note with many denouncing the poor condition of service and the hash atmosphere of work.

In Abuja, the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) lamented the rising spate of insecurity in the country while calling for the strengthening of the country’s labour reforms.

Addressing workers at the May Day rally held at the Eagle Square, Abuja, Comrade Issa Aremu, the deputy president of the NLC, said the security situation in the country has degenerated to the extent that most companies and offices in the northern part of Nigeria have reduced their working hours.

While some of the investors have relocated, others have simply downsized since they only now perform skeletal services, he said.

“And if you now add other challenges like poor power supply, then the industries are in danger,” he said.

He said rallies organised by labour bodies throughout the country is partly because “our heart is with the children who have been criminally abducted. They are potential workers and leaders who have now been deprived of their education.”

“The primary responsibility of a government is security of lives and property,” he noted adding that Nigeria, which had been known for peace, is now increasingly being known for serial violence and preventable attacks.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan faulted the World Bank report which placed Nigeria among the five poorest countries in the world, saying “the nation is not poor.’’

Addressing workers in Abuja, the President said “the challenge of the country is not poverty, but redistribution of wealth.’’ He said that the realities on ground did not portray the country as a poor nation, but a nation which abundant wealth needed to be evenly redistributed.

The President added that his administration was working assiduously and putting policies in place to ensure that Nigerians had access to financial resources to create wealth for themselves.

The Minister of Labour, Emeka Wogu, said that the theme of the 2014 Workers Day, “Building Enduring Peace and Unity’’ was impressive, apt and relevant.

He urged labour unions to have faith in the Jonathan administration as it continued to implement policies and plans for national emancipation.

He said the administration had ensured and would continue to ensure that the voices of labour was heard.

FCT: Workers to get 3 districts for housing scheme in Abuja – Bala

As workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) celebrated the May Day, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), is to make available three districts for workers Housing Scheme in the Territory, the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, has said.

He said the provision of affordable housing for workers in the FCT would be in collaboration with the Organized Private Sector, for quick result.

Report from Jigawa

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), Jigawa state chapter yesterday celebrated the Workers Day at low key, out of concern and sympathy to the Chibok abducted school girls and those that lost their lives in the current security challenges across the country.

The state NLC chairman, Comrade Sulaiman Adamu Kiyawa explained that all ceremonial activities, including parades, public presentation and sports are suspended because, according to him, it is irrational to embark on such activities while hundreds of Nigerians are losing their lives and properties on a daily basis and also with over 200 girls from this country being held captive at an unknown place and condition.

Addressing newsmen in Dutse, the Chairman Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Jigawa state chapter, Comrade Sulaiman Adamu Kiyawa said, the Union had agreed to embark on special prayer to Almighty God to bring to an end of the ongoing social and security crisis undermining the progress of the country.

The NLC also called on Federal Government and all aggrieved groups to consider people’s lives and the country interest above any personal interest and embrace dialogue for peace unity and progress of the nation.

Adamu explained that the NLC had reviewed the performance of Jigawa state government in the last one year and declared it as worthy of being commended.

From Lagos

Fashola, 10 million others signed petition to rescue missing school girls

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola Fashola, who addressed the group of protesting women at the 2014 May day celebration in Lagos, said he was among ten million Nigerians who signed a petition call on the Federal Government to immediately secure the release of kidnapped girls of Chibok government college school.

He said his government shared in their plights and urged them not to relent as they press for unconditional release of the abducted students.

From Kaduna: Celebration low-key mood amidst tight security.

The worker’s day celebration was celebrated in a low-key mood and amidst tight security in Kaduna state yesterday. The traditional Workers Day, which usually celebrated with funfair lacked all that attributes as many workers decided to stay indoors while security operatives keeps vigil at strategic point in the state.

The Kaduna Township Stadium, which usually hosted the May Day celebration witnessed large number of security personnel from the Nigerian Police and Civil Defense Corps.

Kebbi : Labour request for the release of minimum wage circular.

Following the on-going nationwide celebration of workers day by the Nigeria Labour congress [NLC],yesterday Kebbi State chapter of the Union has join its counterpart by requesting the full implantation of N18,000 minimum wage from the state government.

Delivery his speech, the state chairman of NLC, Comrade Sadeeq Sambo Ka’oje, said that the little increments made by the state government was based on verbal approval while urging the government to release the circular to that effect.

Gombe: Gov pledges support for civil servants

Gombe state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo has promised that

his administration will continue to support the affairs of civil servants in the state.

The governor said arrangements has been concluded where the state government would sign a memoranda of understanding with the National centre for Management Development with a view to train workers in the state.

Niger: Staff bio-metric exercise not meant to punish workers – Gov Aliyu

The Niger state government has told its workforce, especially those in the employment of the local government councils that the on-going staff verification and biometric exercise is not designed to inflict hardship on them but to sanitize the entire service.

Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu gave the assurance in Minna yesterday, at this year’s Workers Day ceremony held at the Old 123 Battalion field, in the Niger state capital.

The minister, who made this disclosure yesterday, said President Goodluck Jonathan has given directive to that effect, said the administration has commissioned more workers’ housing estates in the life of the nation.

Continued on Page 4

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