Sen. Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, promised Nigerian workers a minimum wage as well as social and economic justice.
As part of his message of support for Nigerian workers on International Workers’ Day in 2023, he provided the promise on Monday in Abuja.
Under his guidance, employees in the nation would receive a living wage to lead respectable lives and support their families.
The two-term former governor of Lagos State reassured Nigerian workers that he was a trustworthy ally and co-worker in the struggle for social and economic justice for all Nigerians.
“I join the rest of the world and all compatriots to celebrate Nigerian workers on this year’s International Workers’ Day.
“On this special day, as your President-elect, I extend my hands of friendship to the Nigerian workers through the two central Labour unions – Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and Trade Union Congress(TUC).
“In me you will find a dependable ally and co-labourer 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,” Tinubu said.
He said that his Renewed Hope Agenda for a Better Nigeria clearly outlined his goals for improved worker welfare and working conditions.
He claimed it was a commitment he was ready to uphold and one based of conviction.
He emphasized to the workers in Nigeria that we were all engaged in a fight that needed to be won as a team.
He noted that it was the fight against poverty, ignorance, disease, disunity, ethnic and religious hate and all negative forces that contend against the stability and prosperity of the country.
“In the Nigeria, I shall have the honour and privilege to lead from 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 families.
“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,” Tinubu said.
He further noted that Worker’s Day was a special day in most parts of the world.
He said it was a day to salute and honour the working people whose hard work and sweat continued to oil the wheel of human progress and advancement.
According to Tinubu, the day was significant in many ways since it was created and formed out of the fight for workers’ rights and socioeconomic fairness.
He remembered that the day had been commemorated worldwide since 1891 and added that May 1 of every year was a special day in Nigeria.
The newly elected President-elect said, “The public holiday we observed was not just to commemorate the contributions and sacrifices of workers to the welfare of our country.”
“The public holiday serves both as a celebration of the rights of workers to dignity, decent wages and decent living.
“And more important, it is a testament to the critical role the labour movement plays in our march towards a stronger, united and more prosperous nation.
“Since 1945 when the railway workers and 16 other public service unions led the first general strike to demand for better wages as a result of rising cost of living.
“The Labour Movement in Nigeria has always fought on the side of the masses of our country,” he said.
He claimed that the fact that the labor movement gave the independence movement more impetus, zest, and vigor was not surprising.
According to Tinubu, this was accomplished through the organization’s collaboration with nationalists like Nnamdi Azikwe, Herbert Macaulay, Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo, Ernest Ikoli, and Anthony Enahoro, among others.
He continued by saying that during the fight to restore democracy, the Nigerian Labour Movement did not fall short either.
He recalled that the NLC and its affiliate organisations – NUPENG, Textile Union, PENGASSAN, among others, collaborated with the pro-democracy leaders and groups to restore democratic governance in Nigeria in 1999.
This, he said, was after almost two unbroken decades of military dictatorship.