Connect with us


Workers Day: Buhari tasks incoming govt. on workers’ rights



President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked the incoming administration to respect workers rights as encapsulated in International Labour Organisation (ILO), declarations on labour matters.

Buhari made the call at the commemoration of the 2023 Workers Day, with the theme; “Workers Rights and Socio-Economic Justice”, on Monday in Abuja.

Buhari, represented by Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

The president said Nigeria, as a viable member state of the ILO and a connoisseur of workers’ rights, had ratified all the core conventions of the organisation, guarding and promoting rights at work.

“In June 1998, a declaration was optimistically made by the ILO to establish a social minimum at the global level, to respond to the realities of globalisation.

“Hence, the birth of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work in 1998, and amended in 2022, as an expression by the tripartite body of the ILO-government-employers’ and workers’ organisations.

“This is to uphold basic human values regarded as vital to socio-economic lives by affirming to respect five broad categories of workers’ rights at work, embodying more than nine conventions,” Buhari said.

The President also listed the rights to include; Freedom of Association and the Effective Recognition of the Right to Collective Bargaining, the Elimination of all forms of Forced or Compulsory Labour, and the Effective Abolition of Child Labour.

Others he said were the Elimination of Discrimination in respect of Employment and Occupation, and a Safe and Healthy Working Environment.

According to him, in all these webs of rights and obligations in the world of work, the linkages between worker’s rights and socio–economic justice, have been identified and made a declaration by the ILO.

“Workers’ rights coupled with socio-economic justice make a happy workplace.

“We therefore, agree that a fair economic structure, targeted at creating opportunities for all to succeed irrespective of sex, race/ethnicity, age, disability, creed, religion among others, is sine qua non for progress and development.”

Also, Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said that the Nigerian government recognised the importance of Nigerian workers, and was committed to creating the right environment for them to thrive.

“In the past few years, we have taken a number of measures to support Nigerian workers, which include the review and increase of the National Minimum Wage in 2019, Institutionalising its review automatically every five years in the Act.

“We have provided better working conditions and environment, invested in training and re-training, education and human capacity development for workers.

“However, we also recognie that there is a lot more work to be done to improve the lives of Nigerian workers.

“We acknowledge the fact that many Nigerian workers continue to face significant challenges, including low take home pay, lack of job security, and unsatisfactory working conditions.

“We are committed to addressing these issues and creating a more favourable environment for Nigerian workers to thrive.

“The solution to these challenges will not come overnight, but as work in progress. These have been top priorities on the agenda of the outgoing administration,” Ngige said.

The minister, however urged the incoming government to create a work plan for addressing those issues as governance was a continuous process.

“It is hoped that with your support, the incoming administration will do better in line with the developmental blueprint of our political party.

“As we celebrate Workers Day, let us remember the millions of Nigerian workers who have dedicated their lives to building and sustaining our great nation.

“Let us recognise their contributions and acknowledge the challenges that they face everyday. Let us also remember the sacrifices of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty – who have given their lives so that others can live theirs.”

Ngige added that government would continue to work with the two labour centres to create an environment that would support the aspirations of Nigerian workers.

“We would continue to invest in all aspects of education, from primary, secondary, technical, tertiary and skills development, as well as create opportunities for young people and support small and medium-sized enterprises.”

He called on labour leaders to consolidate on the mileage already covered by the Federal Government in the last eight years.

He also called on them to eschew acrimony, factionalism, selfishness, and develop spirit of cooperation social dialogue, rather than confrontation, aggression and unnecessary industrial actions with employers.

Okon Okon/joan Nwagwu

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750
Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750