Workers Day: President-elect Bola Tinubu Promised “A Living Wage” to Nigerian Workers
President-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has vowed to provide Nigerian workers with a “living wage,” which he promises will be more than the current minimum wage.
NewsReport gathered that Tinubu made the pledge in a statement released on Monday in Abuja to mark this year’s Workers’ Day celebration.
Tinubu pledged to lead a Nigeria where workers can earn enough to support their families and live a decent life. He assured workers that they would have a dependable ally in him as they fought for social justice.
The President-elect also recalled the decades of close collaboration between workers and nationalists, as well as pro-democracy activists, and extended a hand of friendship to them.
The full statement is as follows:
I join the rest of the world and all my compatriots to celebrate Nigerian workers on this year’s International Workers’ Day.
Today is a special day in most parts of the world, a day to salute and honor the working people whose hard work and sweat continue to oil the wheel of human progress and advancement. Today is significant in many respects. It is a day forged out of the struggle for workers’ rights and socio-economic justice. Since 1891, this day has been observed all over the world.
In Nigeria, May 1 is a special day in our national calendar. The public holiday we observe is not just to commemorate the contributions and sacrifices of workers to the well-being of our country. It serves both as a celebration of the rights of workers to dignity, decent wages, and decent living, and more importantly, it is a testament to the critical role the labor movement plays in our march towards a stronger, more united, and more prosperous nation.
Since 1945, when the railway workers and 16 other public service unions led the first general strike to demand better wages as a result of the rising cost of living, the labor movement in Nigeria has always fought on the side of the masses in our country. It was no surprise that the Labour Movement added fillip, zest, and energy to the struggle for independence by partnering with nationalists such as Nnamdi Azikwe, Herbert Macaulay, Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo, Ernest Ikoli, and Anthony Enahoro, among others.
The Nigerian Labor Movement was also not found wanting during our struggle for the restoration of democracy. The Nigerian Labour Congress and its affiliate organizations—NUPENG, the Textile Union, and PENGASSAN, among others—collaborated with pro-democracy leaders and groups to restore democratic governance in Nigeria in 1999 after almost two unbroken decades of military dictatorship.
On this special day, as your President-elect, I extend my hands of friendship to the Nigerian workers through the two central labor unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress. In me, you will find a dependable ally and co-laborer in the fight for social and economic justice for all Nigerians, including all the working people.
Your fight will be my fight because I will always fight for you. My plans for better welfare and working conditions are clearly spelled out in my Renewed Hope Agenda for a Better Nigeria. It is a covenant born of conviction, and one I am prepared to keep.
At this point, I must remind Nigerian workers that we all have a common battle to wage, one that we must win together. And it is the fight against poverty, ignorance, disease, disunity, ethnic and religious hate, and all other negative forces that contend against the stability and prosperity of our country.
In Nigeria, where I shall have the honor and privilege to lead starting May 29, workers will have more than a minimum wage. You will have a living wage to have a decent life and provide for your family.
The days ahead will, however, demand better understanding and cooperation from all sides because leadership will require that we take tough and hard decisions so that our people and all Nigerian workers can live more abundantly.
I wish Nigerian workers and the leadership of the NLC and TUC a happy Workers’ Day!