By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has restated the commitment of his administration to the welfare of workers, promising to deliver on its mandate to improve, as well as protect rights of workers.
Engineer Sule made this known in an address marking this year’s International workers day, when he met with officials of the joint labour unions, at the Presidential Lodge, Lafia, on Friday.
The Governor commended workers in the state for their understanding and obeying the directive to stay at home and other measures put in place to curtail the further spread of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
While regretting the inability to celebrate the first workers’ day under his administration, Engineer Sule equally commended the strength, dedication of the workers of the state and their invaluable contributions to the development of the state.
He equally appreciated the existing cordial relationship and robust partnership between government and the organized labour, which is responsible for the industrial harmony, promotion of peace and sustainable development in the state.
On the implementation of the new minimum wage and promotions arrears, the Governor informed the unions that he is still awaiting the reports of the committees put in place to review modalities of payment, as well as financial implications, even as he said members of the unions were also part of the committees.
Engineer Sule also disclosed plans by his administration to build affordable housing for workers in the state through partnership with the private sector, adding that government is poised to enhance welfare of workers through continuous training for effective discharge of their responsibilities.
The Governor used the opportunity to however appealed to the labour unions to braze up for tough times ahead, as a result of the enormous challenge posed by the outbreak of the coronavirus, which has led to a global economic shutdown.
Engineer Sule particularly appealed to the unions to cooperate with the local government areas towards resolving the impasse regarding the payment of salaries in percentages, promising that the councils will invite labour unions, open up their books, so that the unions will understand the true situation of things.
“I am calling on all of you to use the opportunity to come together and work together.
“I am a realist, I don’t want to play politics with everything in life. There are times for politics, there are times for reality. We have to look at it clearly and work together for the future of our state.
“I want you to work with the LGAs, along with all the other associations and unions, that have direct link with the local government,” he said.
The Governor who expressed dislike for payment of salaries in percentages, lamented that already, the local governments, which are autonomous, are beginning to experience the challenges that COVID-19 is bringing to the economy of the state.
Earlier speaking, both the state chairmen of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Yusuf Sarki and Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Umar Mohammed Doma, used the occasion to reflect on the progress of the unions, towards the collective struggle to improve the welfare of their members.