The Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has heaped praises on Nigerian workers for their hard work, innovation, resilience and patriotism.
Osinbajo also expressed President Buhari’s concerns about Nigerian workers and their wage structure.
These views were contained in a press statement released by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, on Media and Publicity, to commemorate the 2018 Workers’ day celebration.
On wage structure and other issues affecting the Nigerian labour force, the Vice President said: “The President’s concern for workers is not theoretical or rhetorical, but one borne out of experience, and respect for the sweat of the working classes, This is why we evolved mechanisms to bail out all the 36 states of the Federation, to the tune of N1.91Trillion so far including Paris Club repayments, in recognition of the shortfalls in their finances arising in particular from the oil shocks of 2015/2016.
“We have extended this support regardless of party affiliation, to enable the States settle the backlog of arrears and salaries and pensions of workers. At the inauguration of the National Economic Council in 2015, President Buhari publicly declared that our administration will support every State because poverty is no respecter of ethnic group, religion or party affiliation.
“While we do recognize that payment of salaries and pensions is essential, we are also conscious of the fact that the increasing cost of living and the recognition to ensure a fair and decent living wage, has rendered the Minimum Wage Instrument which is currently in force obsolete. Accordingly, President Buhari on November 27, 2017, inaugurated a Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee to renegotiate the National Minimum Wage for our workers.
“This administration has remained committed to improving the welfare of the Nigerian people. When we came into office at least 22 States were owing salaries, some for a whole year. If you recall in November 2015, the President said and I quote, “all my life I have always earned a salary, so I understand what it means when your salary is not paid or when it is not enough.”