In Lagos, Workers from both the public and private sectors, under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC, converged on the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos Island in large numbers to commemorate this year’s Workers Day.
Addressing the workers, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu appreciated them for their contributions to the economic growth and development of the country, noting that the occasion offers govt the opportunity to review and reassess ways of improving the lot of workers.
Appealing to the various unions to embrace dialogue in resolving issues, Governor Sanwo-Olu renewed his administration’s commitment to ensure a conducive working environment and improved welfare of workers.
“We are duty bound to do everything to ensure that whether you are in service or in retirement, the entitlements of you, our workers, remain sacrosanct” the
He announced that the State would be sponsoring thirteen labour members to the International Labour Organisation Convention in Geneva, Switzerland later this year as part of efforts to ensure smooth working relationship between government and workers.
The Governor said nomination into the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy, Lagos is now open to raise future Nigerian leaders and committed civil servants.
Earlier, the State Chairperson of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Agnes Sessi thanked the State government for what it has done for the union so far, including the donation of vehicles and provision of a permanent Secretariat, urged for the fulfillment of other promises
The NLC state Chairperson who decried the rise in child labour in Lagos, used the occasion to press home the demand for an increase in minimum wage in line with present realities and appealed to the government to boost security and to further ensure decent work environment
“In recent years conditions of work and the work environment has been an issue between employers and employees, safety equipment, pre-employment training and workmen compensation has been an issue and workers has to work under very harsh and unsafe conditions and even with remunerations that could be regarded as stipends and not a wage, labour will not fold its arms but will defend the rights of the workers to correct all infractions and injustice from employers.
We want to dedicate this year’s observance to the resilience, courage and sacrifices of all workers who have had to endure one form of victimization or another or pay the ultimate price in the course of duty. We thank all our partners and allies, the Civil Society Organizations and labour veterans for their dedication and commitment to the struggle for better living condition and the promotion” she said
Speaking in the same vein, her Trade Union Counterpart, Comrade Gbenga Ekundayo who noted that the theme of this year’s Mayday “Labour, Politics and the Quest for
Good Governance and Development in Nigeria” is apt in view of the fact that the Country will be heading to the polls again in 2023, said all workers must stand to be counted.
Acknowledging the efforts of the State government through different Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Comrade Ekundayo called for concerted efforts in the development of Lagos and the country at large.
“We must all re-dedicate ourselves and not give up on the project Nigeria. Our country is going through some challenging times. Therefore, all hands must be on deck towards re-directing the ship of state to the path of prosperity we all craved and hope for. This is a task for us all. Project Nigeria is a collective responsibility”
The highlight of the event was the march past by the various labour unions in their different colourful ceremonial uniforms.