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Gov. Ododo Restated Commitment To Prioritising Workers Welfare

By Stephen Adeleye

Lokoja, May 1, 2024

Gov. Ahmed Usman Ododo of Kogi has reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to give utmost priority to workers’ welfare in the State.

Ododo gave the assurance on Wednesday at the 2024 International Workers’ (May) Day celebration, with the theme: “People First” at Muhammadu Buhari Square Lokoja.

The governor thanked the workers for their hard work and dedication, and urged them to remain calm, peaceful and supportive of the government as partners in progress.

Ododo stressed that the labour unions’ collaborative spirit with the government and their constructive engagement had enabled the state to address issues and find solutions together.

This, he said had fostered a conducive environment for the growth and development of the State.

The governor noted that some of the unions requests had been met, and promised that all other requests would be looked into by the government.

“Despite these interventions, we are aware that the current minimum wage in Nigeria requires an upward review.

“As a State, we may not be there right now, but I can assure you that soon and very soon, on-going conversation about compensation for civil servants in the State will be concluded,” he said

Ododo appreciated President Bola Tinubu for his generous commitment to the welfare of the Nigeria workers, and for giving the youths ample opportunities to excel in governance.

“On behalf of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) who has made generous commitment to the welfare of the Nigerian worker, I urge you to remain calm, peaceful and supportive of the government as partners in progress.

“Our resolve to implement agreements towards improving workers’ welfare in Kogi state is on course.

“As we commemorate International Workers’ Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of every worker.

“Together, let us continue to strive for a future where every worker can thrive and prosper, ” Ododo said.

Earlier, the State’s Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Gabriel Amari, commended the governor for the remarkable strides his administration had recorded towards enhancing workers welfare in the State.

Amari also commended the governor for his commitment to continuity and completion of projects initiated by his predecessor without discrimination.

Amari thanked the governor for appointing one of them, the immediate past state’s NLC Chairman, Mr. Onuh Edoka as the Special Adviser on Labour Matters.

The organised labour leader, however urged the State Government to immediately meet the labour’s demands such as the implementation of wage award, implementation of previous agreements on promotions, leave bonus, annual increment as well as other allowances.

Others include: recruitment into state civil service, educational and health facilities, harmonisation of salary disparities in state health sector, payment of gratuity and harmonisation of pension,, among others.

Amari stressed that the current N30,000 National Minimum Wage fell short of meeting basic needs of workers in the prevailing market conditions of the country.

He added: “We advocate for the immediate implementation of a Wage Award totaling around N35,000 in Kogi State.

“This adjustment is not only fair but also urgent, given the relentless rise in the costs of goods and services, which continuously erodes the purchasing power of Workers.

“Until the long-awaited negotiations for a new minimum wage are concluded and put into effect, the Wage Award would serve as a temporary relief for Workers grappling with the current economic hardships”.

In his vote of thanks, the Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Sule Tijani, commended the Governor and his officials for gracing the occasion.

Tijani urged the workers to embrace the spirit of unity, resilience and hope that binds the union together, while assuring the governor of their unwavering support.

The state’s Deputy Governor, Mr Joel Salifu; the state Head of Service, Mr Elijah Evinemi, the Secretary of State Government, Dr Folashade Ayoade, and other dignitaries were present at May Day celebration.

End.

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