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May Day: Life has been terrible for workers, Nigerians under Tinubu — NLC.

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.Urges President to retrace his steps.

.As TUC calls for better welfare, review of labour law.

Workers’ take-home package not taking them home, Plateau NLC chairman

.Nigerians subsidizing corruption, inefficiencies in FG- Atiku.

..Kalu salutes workers, assures proactive efforts on safer, healthier workplace

  .Zulum approves sale of 2 estates on owner-occupier basis to Borno workers.

.We need FG’s support to pay new minimum wage –Manufacturers.

.Imo govt at peace with labour, says Uzodimma.

.Anambra Police congratulate workers

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AKOR SYLVESTER, Abuja, DANIEL DAUDA, Jos, AHMED MARI, Maiduguri, IBRAHIM QUADRI, Lagos and PHIL OKOSE, Onitsha, Jonas Ezieke, Abuja , Cyril Mbah, Abuja.



As Nigerian workers join their counterparts across the world to mark the International Workers Day today, the organised labour has said workers and Nigerians have not had it good in terms of living condition for the past one year as a result of unfriendly policies of the federal government.

The labour union also said workers do not have expectations in this year’s celebration of May Day as it maintained that the past hope has been dashed by the government.

In an interview with the Head of Information and Public Affairs of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Benson Upah, the congress said the present administration has been misled by external bodies against Nigerian citizens in its policies, calling on President Bola Tinubu to retrace his steps.

He said what Nigerians need is good infrastructure, better healthcare improved workers’s welfare, job opportunities, standard education funding and good governance.

Upah however urged Nigerians not to be discouraged but to keep on fighting and pushing for a better Nigeria that generations would be proud of.

He said: “Life has worsened considerably. In fact, the most painful aspect of it is that there is no silver lining in the sky yet. When workers were trying to get used to this ugly situation, the government slammed on them the new energy tariff, 250% and on the other side for the workers, nothing has changed. So life has been very terrible for workers in the past one year. We wish it could be better.

“To go to specifics, the ill-advised removal of fuel subsidy, and the floating of the Naira, and the hike in tariff of electricity, these three major policies have considerably reduced the value of the Naira.

“Inflation at the moment, is 33.2%, food inflation is a minimum of 40%. The devaluation of the Naira. After these policy announcements. I mean, the value of the Naira has gone down by about 200% and after a while when Nigerians started having hopes that the Naira was regaining its strength and stability. There were other storms.

“So, as it is now. It is not possible to authoritatively state what position the Naira occupies in the scheme of things. . So,  the purchasing power of the worker has been eroded beyond recognition.

“In fact for senior workers who earns from N80,000 and above, their salary can only  buy a bag of rice. We are not talking about beans.

I’m not talking about garri and other necessities of life like transportation, education and health care. So, what has happened to the Nigerian is that he has been demobilised in the name of democracy.

“The  average Nigerian does not know where he or she is at the moment there is no room for planning. You can’t plan for anything  you can’t hope for anything, so it is as bad as that”.

According to him, “In a situation like this. We can’t hope for anything take for instance workers are complaining, manufacturers are complaining. As we are talking, 30-40% of big business are down, the other segments of business are completely crushed, so who are these policies intended for if they are this level of negative effects across board.

“Our suspicion is that these policies are dictated from outside this country and they are not good for the health of this country or for the people of this country  and we advise Mr. President to retrace his steps.

“We want a better life, we want a better electricity, we want better infrastructure, we want an enhanced pay to be able to cope with the realities of life, we want a Nigeria that we used to know, we are completely terrified by the prospect that our yesterday has always been better than our today, this narrative must stop

“For expectations, I wish we could expect something from this government. As for expectations, we expect nothing because our expectations have been repeatedly dashed but I wish we could expect something from this government”.

He stated further that, “Our message is that workers should not be broken, they should remain strong and be  guided by the philosophy of the bedbug that this hot water that they are pouring on us will one day  grow cold”.

Meanwhile the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has called on the federal and state governments to prioritise workers welfare to encourage effective performance at work place

This is as the labour union urged for the review of labour law to meet the current economic realities and also to be in line with the International Labour Law.

TUC President, Festus Osifo who spoke at the Pre-May Day Lecture held in Abuja as part of activities to mark the 2024 International Workers Day celebration scheduled for Wednesday, said there is the need to put the welfare and interest of the people first in driving any government policy.

Represented at the event by the Deputy President of TUC, Comrade Eitm Okon, Osifo said the theme of the 2024 May Day celebration which is titled: “Workers First” is very significant because there is a need to put the people first, and to put the workers first in every government policy.

“Today marks another turning point in history of trade union movement in this country. When we look at the theme of the 2024 Worker’s Day celebration, which is People First, that is very significant because we need to put the people first, we need to put the workers first and when you put the people first, you put your family first. This is what is called first line charge.

“Today, we have experienced various policy mismatch and summersaults where the people’s welfare are put at the bottom of the radar.

“A case in point was the increase in electricity tariff without following due process and without consultation with various stakeholders who would have been involved in taking critical decisions that affects the lives of workers”.

According to him, labour plays a very critical role in every productive venture, adding that to neglect the workers is to ignore the significant role such an important arm of production plays.

He maintained that many anti labour practices are happening today because of the country’s obsolete labour laws which dates back to 2005.

He said that organised labour believed that something urgent needs to be done about outdated labour law so as to maintain industrial harmony.

Declaring the event open, the NLC President Joe Ajaero, who was represented at the event by the Deputy President, Titus Amba said there was hardly anyone in the country today that is not aware of the hardship the people are facing.

“As leaders of Nigerian workers, it is pertinent for us to speak and continually draw attention to the plights of our members. We reaffirm our determination to championing the rights of the workers and people of this country. “Peoples First” these two words encapsulates the essence of our struggle  and the core of our vision for a just and equitable society” he said.

According to him, the theme of the this year’s worker’s Day celebration reminded us that behind every policy decision , every labour struggle and negotiation, there are workers and families whose lives are deeply imparted.

“People should  be at the heart of every policy. Without making them the centre of every government policy, the society suffers adversely,” he noted.


Workers’ take-home package not taking them home, Plateau NLC chairman


Similarly, the chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Plateau State chapter, Comrade Eugene Manji has revealed that the country’s workers monthly take-home package is not in anywhere sustaining them.

Manji, lamented that government inability to adopt measures and regulate prices of commodities in the market coupled with harsh economy realities continued to suffocate the working class and vulnerable Nigerians.

Manji, who spoke with Daily Champion in Jos the Plateau state capital Monday, acknowledged that even before the removal of fuel subsidy Nigerian workers were under excruciating hardship.

“The harsh economy situation as it is now we are paying direly for it. For whatever reason the government has removed the subsidy. From that time to this moment, even before then we were not finding it easy.

“The situation has gone beyond whatever they are giving the workers, whether in the private or public sector of the economy, the workers are not finding it easy. That is the truth!

“The healthcare system is not in stable condition to help the masses. So we don’t know were we are now. Now they are increasing the electricity tariff.

“So whichever way the government is trying to apply their policies the workers and the masses are suffering, because their take home pay cannot take them home…..”

While reacting on what pundits believed that there is lack of consensus between NLC/TUC on the proposed new minimum wage, Comrade Manji said that, “we have harmonized position. So that is not position for the government to come in. It is an internal issue which we have a way of resolving our issues.”

Suggesting ways employers of labour should intervene in alleviating hardship in the country, he noted that the labour unions are not just asking for the increment in the payment in the minimum wage.

According to him, “the issue is the price control. Let the government look at it very well and the policies that would cushion the effects of the economy in the country.

“Importation, exportation and all other things.The government has to look at it. What are we importing? If we are importing petroleum, why can’t you refined it since you have the crude oil here. Yes! You don’t have enough and you are exporting, it doesn’t make sense.”

He tasked Federal Government to discard lip service and rise up to the occasion of addressing the conditions of workers, providing necessary farming implements to achieve food security through a robust security architecture.

“Whatever we are having is shortage, the government has to look at the security of the country, the farmers-herders clashes that we are having. How can they resolve it. If they don’t look at that then, we will continue to have a problem. Also the issue of these terrorist activities: Boko Haram, bandits, kidnappers and the rest of them. If government don’t look into it people would not go to the farm and do anything.”


Nigerians subsidizing corruption, inefficiencies in FG- Atiku.

Meanwhile, Former Vice President and 2023 Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has commiserated with the nation’s labour community even as he decried the hostile conditions under which the average worker operates in Nigeria without commensurate wages.

In a message to mark the 2024 International Workers Day, Alhaji Atiku observed that “it is a sobering truth that the plight of the Nigerian workers remain very dire.”

Titled “Nigerians subsidizing corruption and inefficiencies in the Federal Government,” the former vice president regretted that despite prolonged pledges and flowery words by the government, the much talked-about prospects of wage increment for the Nigerian worker remains a mirage.

He observed that every dawn still unveils renewed hardships and harsh living conditions.

According to the PDP chieftain”s statement, “after the contraction and contradictions by the government about whether the subsidy regime has gone or it is still being implemented, the country is today facing the angst of frustration by Nigerians who waste precious man-hours in queues at petrol stations across the country.

“The petrol subsidy is purportedly gone; yet its impact lingers – revealing the ineptitude of the current Federal Government.

“In an unprecedented manner and condescending of both the Nigerian worker and the general public, this current federal government announced a unilateral removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit without consultations with representatives of the Nigerian worker.

“The continued increase in tariffs in different service offerings without addressing the corruption and inefficiencies in the system only amounts to long-suffering Nigerians subsidising the corruption and inefficiencies in the system.

“Since the days of legendary, Pa. Michael Imoudu, to later day fire brands such as Pascal Bafyau and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the Nigerian worker has been at the forefront of the fight against tyranny and bad governance.

“No administration in our history has trampled workers’ rights like this one. Daily, workers face uncertainty over skyrocketing prices of essential goods.

“The Nigerian worker has had it so rough under this current administration and it is unfortunate that while the living conditions of the Nigerian worker remains at a miserably low ebb, the Nigerian government continues to regale its international audiences with tales of how the masses are being weaned of their wasteful dependence on government.

“It is thus beginning to appear, that as far as the current Federal Government is concerned, the management of our country’s micro-economic outlook is an unwieldy laboratory experiment, to which the Nigerian worker is laid prostrate.

“While I cannot but share my sympathy with the Nigerian worker for the way the current government has ridiculed her for far too long, I must equally express my felicitations with the Nigerian worker on this year’s Workers Day.

“It is my hope that the theme of this year’s Labour Day: Ensuring Safety and Health at Work In a Changing Climate, will inspire the Nigerian government to put the concerns of the Nigerian Worker on the front burner,” Atiku appealed.



..Kalu salutes workers, assures proactive efforts on safer, healthier workplace


The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has joined millions of Nigerians to salute the nation’s workers on the celebration of 2024 International Workers’ Day.


International Labour Day is celebrated on May 1 every year, to honour and appreciate the contributions of workers all around the world. The day recognises the hard work and dedication of people who work in various fields to make lives better.


The Deputy Speaker, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Press Affairs, Udora Orizu, extolled the resilience, commitment and dedication of the Nigerian workers, saying that he’s elated by the way they have been conducting themselves over the years.


Kalu stated that this years Workers Day, themed; “Ensuring safety and health at work in a changing climate,” resonates with the agenda of 10th House of Representatives towards addressing climate-change-related issues and ensuring a safer and healthier working environment for Nigerian workers.


He also stated that the theme underscores the urgency of addressing climate change’s impacts on occupational safety, health, and the necessity of safer work environments


Kalu said that the parliament is committed to fostering legislative actions geared towards protection of workers’ rights, better welfare for their labour and a safer and healthier workplace.


He also said that some of the legislative action to be taken include strengthening the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) to effectively enforce environmental laws, regulations, and standards and ensure compliance with international agreements, conventions, and environmental treaties, among others.


Noting that the workers are the driving force of a country, the Deputy Speaker urged them to keep hope alive, assuring that governments at all levels are working together towards making life better for them.


He wished the workers a happy international worker’s day.


Kalu said, “Happy International Labour Day to Nigerian Workers. Today, we celebrate the hard work and dedication of workers worldwide. Your contributions are invaluable. The workers are the driving force of a country. They are the ones who do most of the work to initiate development. The workers get down to the roots of things and start work at the basic level to initiate positive changes to the country and the world. Workers are extremely important as they are the backbone of a society.


“The parliament is happy with the way Nigerian workers have been conducting themselves over the years. This year’s theme resonates with the agenda of 10th House of Representatives towards addressing climate-change-related issues and ensuring a safer and healthier working environment for Nigerian workers. We’re committed to legislative actions geared towards protection of workers’ rights, better welfare for their labour and a safer and healthier workplace.”



Zulum approves sale of two estates on owner-occupier basis to workers, others in Borno


Also, the Borno State Government , has approved the sale of two government-owned estates in Maiduguri on an owner-occupier basis to workers, politicians and other stakeholders, as part of measures to improve  workers welfare and address housing deficit in the State

The two estates are Mustapha Umar Legacy Estate along Maiduguri – Damaturu road and the former CBN quarters which was procured by the state government located in Damboa road, Maiduguri.

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state who announced the approval  when the state’s high-powered committee on the disposal of government properties presented their report to him at the Government House, Maiduguri said “Let me begin by appreciating you for the thorough job that you have done. Let me assure you that we will immediately implement the outcome of your report. From the preliminary discussion I had with you, and based on my external investigation, I am informed that you did a thorough job.

“For this reason, I want this committee to continue with the implementation of the report. I believe that of all the estates we have, CBN quarters and Legacy Estate are the only ones occupied by people. I have directed you to start outright sales of these two estates based on owner-occupier basis”, Zulum said

“I want you to examine who are government officials among the occupiers and let’s see how we can dispose to them, while others who are not working with the government can purchase outrightly”, he added.

The governor also noted that the government will sell four other estates, including Bakasi, Gubio Road, Teachers Village and Fertilizer estates, previously occupied by IDPs.

“The other four estates would also be sold, but due to the destruction resulting from the occupation by IDPs, we will discuss to see if we are selling it without being rehabilitated or until after some repairs,,” he added.

The Governor, however, directed that Teacher’s Village would only be purchased by teachers who are residing within Maiduguri and Jere Local Government Councils.

Earlier in his presentation, the committee chairman, Engr Bello Audu, expressed gratitude to the governor for finding them worthy to serve the state.


We need FG’s support to pay new minimum wage –Manufacturers


In a related development, the Vice President of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, NASME, Solomon Aderoju has urged the Federal Government to give support to its body in order to meet up with the proposed minimum wage for workers.

The Federal Government had in January set up a 37-member Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage with a mandate to recommend a new National Minimum Wage for the country.

Subsequently, Public Hearings were organized by the federal government across the political zones.

The hearings took place in the South West (Lagos), North-East (Yola), North-West (Kano), North-Central (Abuja), South-South (Uyo), and South-East (Enugu).

Although, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC had differed on their proposals on the new minimum wage during the hearings but it was later gathered that the two unions had jointly proposed N615,000 per worker.

Speaking with our correspondent, the Vice President of NASME stated that though the time has come for the government to review the minimum wage but added that the MSMEs would require support from government.

According to him, “The inflation is affecting every sector of production, it is also eroding the purchasing power.”

Aderoju noted the minimum wage”is not something we can do on our own, it is Government that can do that for us. Government has to do a lot to reduce the cost of production.”

He said that the infrastructural deficit, the new electricity tariff hike are hampering growth, saying despite the rise of naira value against the dollar every other cost of production is still high.

“Our own position is that this is time to review the new minimum wage but unfortunately, the two unions body NLC and TUC  came up with statistics to defend their positions on what they want to get from government.

“At the Public hearing on the new minimum wage, NASME presented our own side and we also have our own staff and in terms of operational cost, we will not be able to pay what the NLC is proposing if government will not intervene in our own case.

He highlighted areas federal government would have to address which include, infrastructural deficiency, lack of fund, high interest rate

He added, “The monetary policy, the rate at which the commercial banks borrow from CBN is at 24.75 percent, if the commercial banks borrow at this rate, they will also put their own margins, so SMEs will not thrive over that rate.

“Another problem is influx of foreign goods into the country which is also affecting marketability of our own products. If all these are met, then MSMEs will be able to pay whatever minimum wage that will be finalized,” he stated.

He further argued, “I know some state governments that can’t even pay this current minimum wage of N30,000 so those state governments will find it difficult to pay the new one being proposed. We are waiting for government to pronounce it and see what can be done.”



Imo govt at peace with labour, says Uzodimma


Meanwhile, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has said that his government is at peace with the leadership of the Organised Labour and will stop at nothing in supporting them to defend the interest of the workers, particularly in Imo State.

The Governor spoke on Monday when he received in audience the new Executive members of the Organised Labour in Imo State who came to pay him a courtesy call at his office in Government House, Owerri.

Uzodimma thanked them for coming and congratulated the new officials for being found worthy by their different affiliate unions to lead them.

Expressing his administration’s willingness to work together with the Labour Unions, Uzodimma urged them to support government in her efforts as regards the  discipline of workers and generally, their behaviour.

He decried past developments that tended to portray the government as not friendly with the national leadership of labour, saying “there is better understanding now,” and that the leadership has also seen that “we are better off working as a team.”

He however accepted the request of the Organised Labour to host their Convention in Imo State at a later date in the year, promising that the government will be happy to see that the Convention if hosted in Imo State will be better compared to the other ones they held elsewhere.

Uzodimma singled out the leader of the team, Comrade Uche Chigaemezu Nwigwe for providing honest and sincere leadership and urged the entire Organised Labour leaders to “work together, reduce their greed and increase their tolerance.”

Earlier, Comrade Nwigwe thanked the Governor for his generosity and kindness to the workers in Imo State, citing free transportation, free medical care, civil service reform, prompt payment of salaries and pensions, promotion of workers, and recently, readiness to pay gratuities to retirees.

He assured the Governor that they are willing to work with him to achieve the peace he desires for Imo State.

He used the opportunity to invite the Governor to this year’s Workers Day on May 1, describing it as “the workers own Christmas.”

The Secretary to the State  Government, Chief Cosmos Iwu, the Chief of Staff, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie and other top government officials joined the Governor in receiving the Labour leaders.


Anambra Police congratulate workers


On his part, the Commissioner of Police, CP, Anambra State, Aderemi Adeoye, Tuesday congratulated workers in the State as they celebrate May 1st, a day marked for workers to be celebrated worldwide

The CP appreciated the workers for their commitment, dedication, and especially their resolve in sustaining the message of peace and standing up against illegal sit-at-home on Mondays and any other act that threatens our national unity and public peace in the State.

To this end, he urged the workers and residents to remain law-abiding, and vigilant and continue to partner with and support the Police and other security agencies, as they synergize and collaborate towards combating all forms of criminality as well as ensure public security and safety in the state.

The CP stated this in a press release  through the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ikenga Tochukwu, a Superintendent of Police.


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