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May Day: FG, Obiano, others reassure workers of new minimum wage

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GOVERNOR Willie Obiano of Anambra State has reassured workers of the state that his government will commence the implementation of the N30,000 New Minimum Wage once its guidelines are released.

Disclosing this while addressing workers in the state during the Workers Day celebration at Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, yesterday,  Governor Obiano extolled the cordial working relationship with the organized labour in the state in the past five years, which he noted had ensured the progress of his administration.

He announced that all the demands tabled before the Special Committee on Labour Issues chaired by the deputy governor of the state, Doctor Nkem Okeke had been approved and pledged to continuously prioritize the welfare of workers, stressing that his administration had cleared all pension arrears which accumulated in the past 25years.

Earlier in his speech, the Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Anambra State Council, Jerry Nnubia, bemoaned the high youth unemployment in the country, which he said accounted for the upsurge in crime and other social vices.

Comrade Nnubia applauded the speedy passage and assent to New Minimum Wage and urged the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission to issue the implementation circular to enable the state government begin its payment.

He frowned at the poor implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme in the state and called for its scrapping and refund of monies deducted from workers salaries.

He also appreciated the governor for settling the pension and gratuity of National Light Pensioners.

Also, the State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Comrade Ifeanyi Okechukwu, who called for regular training of workers for enhanced productivity, commended the state government for releasing N200 million to start the Workers’ Housing Estate in the area.

The Deputy Majority Leader of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Doctor Pascal Agbodike, in an interview, pledged to support the executive in its efforts to improve the welfare of workers.

Other stakeholders who graced the event, including Chief Dan Ogbuefi and Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka felicitated with the Nigerian workers and called for positive measures to appreciate their contributions to nation building.

Meanwhile the Federal government, through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has assured workers of her continued commitment to their welfare.

The minister made this known  in a statement issued and made available to newsmen in commemoration of the 2019 Workers’ Day celebration.

According to Ngige, the President has constantly declared his commitment to the welfare of Nigerian workers and is determined to create a buoyant economy for the people of Nigeria.

While felicitating with Nigerian workers,  the FG also urged them to re-dedicate themselves to duty and justify the confidence reposed in them.

“On behalf of the management and staff of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment as well as its parastatals, I wish to send warm felicitations to Nigerian workers on the occasion of 2019 Workers’ Day.

“The theme of this year’s celebration which is ‘Another 100 years of struggle for jobs, dignity and social justice in Nigeria’ aligns with the vision and efforts of President Buhari to not only uplift the lot of the Nigerian worker, but also leave a legacy of a buoyant economy capable of creating sustainable abundance for our people.

“The uniqueness of this year’s event manifests eventfully in its co-incidence with the centenary celebration of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which Nigeria proudly pioneered as the first country office in Africa 60 years ago, in Lagos in 1959.

“While I sincerely salute the resilience of the nation’s workforce and its numerous contributions to national development, we owe plentiful accolades to the most labour-friendly President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, who took practical steps to douse the restiveness in the labour force he inherited four years ago due to unpaid salaries and allowances.

“He released bailout funds at the state and federal levels, and capped it all with a new national minimum wage for the Nigerian working class in public and private sectors. As we move to the Next Level, I have no doubt that things will get better. I wish you all a productive and fulfilling workers’ Day celebration.”

Among the states that declared readiness to pay the minimum wage are Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Kano, Bayelsa, Delta, Oyo, among others.

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