In what appeared a pledge to embark on wage increase in the middle of the year, President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has vowed to give more than a minimum wage to Nigerian workers, promising to give them a “living wage”.
“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,” Tinubu stated.
The President-elect made the pledge in a statement issued Monday in Abuja on the occasion of this year’s Workers’ Day celebration.
Noting that workers would find in him a dependable ally and co-labourer in the fight for social justice, the President-elect also extended a hand of friendship to them, recalling decades of close collaboration between workers and nationalists as well as pro-democracy activists.
He said: “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.
“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 labour movement was also not found wanting during our struggle for the restoration of democracy.
“The Nigerian Labour Congress 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 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 Labour unions – Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress.
“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. My plans for better welfare and working conditions are clearly spelt 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 which we must win together.
“And it is the fight against poverty, ignorance, disease, disunity, ethnic and religious hate and all negative forces that contend against the stability and prosperity of our country.
“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”.