By Emmanuel Mogbede
The President-Elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, has assured Nigerian workers of a minimum wage, social and economic justice.
He gave the assurance on Monday in Abuja in his solidarity message to Nigerian workers on the 2023 International Workers’ Day.
He added that workers in the country would have a living wage to have a decent life and provide for their families under his leadership.
The two-term former Lagos State governor also assured Nigerian workers
that he was a dependable ally and co-labourer in the fight for social and economic justice for all Nigerians.
“I join the rest of the world and all compatriots to celebrate Nigerian workers on this year’s International Workers’ Day.
“On this special day, as your President-elect, I extend my hands of friendship to the Nigerian workers through the two central Labour unions – Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and Trade Union Congress(TUC).
“In me you will find a dependable ally and co-labourer in the fight for social and economic justice for all Nigerians, including all the working people. Your fight will be my fight because I will always fight for you,” Tinubu said.
He said his plans for better welfare and working conditions for Nigerian workers were clearly spelt out in his Renewed Hope Agenda for a better Nigeria.
He said it was a covenant born of conviction which he was prepared to keep.
He reminded Nigerian workers that we all had a common battle to wage we must win together.
He noted that it was the fight against poverty, ignorance, disease, disunity, ethnic and religious hate and all negative forces that contend against the stability and prosperity of the country.
“In the Nigeria I shall have the honour and privilege to lead from May 29, workers will have more than a minimum wage.
“You will have a living wage to have a decent life and provide for your families.
“The days ahead will, however, demand better understanding and cooperation from all sides,because leadership will require that we take tough and hard decisions so that our people and all Nigerian workers can live more abundantly,” Tinubu said.
He further noted that Worker’s Day was a special day in most parts of the world.
He said it was a day to salute and honour the working people whose hard work and sweat continued to oil the wheel of human progress and advancement.
Tinubu said the day was significant in many respects, adding that it was a day forged and born out of the struggle for workers’ rights and socio-economic justice.
He recalled that since 1891, the day had been observed all over the world, adding that in Nigeria, every May 1 was a special day in our national calendar.
The President-elect added that the public holiday we observed was not just to commemorate the contributions and sacrifices of workers to the well-being of our country.
“The public holiday serves both as a celebration of the rights of workers to dignity, decent wages and decent living.
“And more important, it is a testament to the critical role the labour movement plays in our march towards a stronger, united and more prosperous nation.
“Since 1945 when the railway workers and 16 other public service unions led the first general strike to demand for better wages as a result of rising cost of living.
“The Labour Movement in Nigeria has always fought on the side of the masses of our country,” he said.
He said it was no surprise that the labour movement added fillip, zest and energy to the struggle for independence.
This, Tinubu said, it did by partnering with nationalists such as Nnamdi Azikwe, Herbert Macaulay, Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo, Ernest Ikoli and Anthony Enahoro among others.
He added that the Nigerian Labour Movement was also not found wanting during the struggle for the restoration of democracy.
He recalled that the NLC and its affiliate organisations – NUPENG, Textile Union, PENGASSAN, among others, collaborated with the pro-democracy leaders and groups to restore democratic governance in Nigeria in 1999.
This, he said, was after almost two unbroken decades of military dictatorship