By Toby Prince
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has assured Nigerian workers that their welfare is cardinal to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Deputy Director, Press in the Ministry, Charles Akpan quote the Minister as saying at the Long Service/Merit Award Ceremony of the Nigerian Ports Authority that it was as a result of the commitment to the welfare of workers that the President wasted no time in assenting to the N30,000 minimum wage.
Ngige said: “The welfare of workers is a cardinal objective of the current administration because the President clearly understands the key role workers play in national development. This is manifest in the various measures the Federal Government has taken since 2015 to reposition the workforce.”
“We can easily flashback to a number of bailout funds he gave to states to pay salaries of workers as well as the unprecedented payment of decades-long arrears of salaries and allowances to the workers in the federal civil service. Let’s not forget that the President also wasted no time in giving his assent to the new National Minimum Wage.”
The Minister further said Nigerian pensioners have never been as fairly treated as obtained currently, emphasizing the significant mileage the administration has covered through the Pension Transitional Administrative Directorate (PTAD)
He therefore commended the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority for keying into the core agenda of the Buhari administration in the labour sector by promoting social dialogue and embarking on incentives that ginger industrial productivity.
“As the Minister in charge of the interest of workers, I fully appreciate the importance of good corporate reward system in the promotion of competition and excellence, thus, my deep appreciation of today’s event by the Ports Authority. Its potentials in promoting industrial harmony and productivity cannot be over-emphasized. I hence urge other organisations to borrow a leaf.”
He further congratulated those who were honoured at the event and exhorted workers across the federation to give their best in service, restating the resolve of the Federal Government to safeguard the rights of workers and promote decent work.