As Nigerian workers join the global labour movement to commemorate the 2017 workers day, messages of good will poured in from several well-meaning Nigerians. One of such good will messages was from the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who described Nigerian workers as the pillars and driving force of the nation.
In a message signed by Yusuph Olaniyonu, his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity,the Senate President lauded the resilience and commitment of workers in both the formal and informal sector describing their contribution to the nation and the economy as “priceless’’. According to him, from the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Nigerian workers contribute over 47 per cent to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Adding that the priceless contributions to the sustainability of our nationare made by the civil servants, the unregistered business owners who work to make a living for themselves and their families. The Senate President said all Nigerian workers should be proud of their significant contributions to keep the nation moving forward.
Saraki promised that the Senate would continue to work to establish and enhance all legislations that would guarantee the safety and well-being of Nigerian workers, adding that the upper chamber would continue to partner with Nigerian workers to enact legislation that would guarantee that they get their dues at the appropriate time.
In declaring May 1, 2017 a public holiday on behalf of the Federal Government, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, congratulated the Nigerian workers for their resilience and hard work. He called on workers to continue to support President Buhariin his desire to fight against corruption, ensure security of lives and property, and stabilize the economy through the creation of jobs and diversification of the economy.
Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employmentsaluted the resilience of the Nigerian workers in the face of the current economic challenges facing the country. Assuring them of President Muhammadu Buhari;s commitment to enhancing their welfare, the Labour Minister said the President has put in place several programmes to actualize the improvement of the welfare of the Nigerian worker.
He added that the Federal Government was not unaware of the economic challenges facing Nigerian workers in the public, the private and informal sector of the economy. The International Workers day or Labour Day as it is known in some countries, is a celebration of the working class and the show of solidarity. Celebrated on the 1st of May in some Countries, it is celebrated on the first Monday of September in the United States.
Promoted by the Labour, Socialist and Communist movement, as well as trade Unions, the day was chosen to commemorate the Hymarket affair, the bombing which happened at a labour demonstration in Chicago, on May 4th, 1886. It is also used to remember men and women, across the world, who died or have been injured at work.
Veronica Ogbole / Nigeria