By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday joined thousands of workers to commemorate this year’s May Day celebration, just as he commended the organised Labour Unions for the uninterrupted industrial harmony that his administration has enjoyed since he assumed office.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the May Day Rally, held at the Agege Stadium, Lagos, while attributing the industrial harmony and peace in the State to the maturity and responsibility of the labour unions, applauded them for adopting alternative dispute resolution mechanisms rather than resort to industrial actions.
“It is on record that we have never, since the inception of this administration, had any dispute with the organized labour and I will be the first to admit that the Labour Unions in Lagos State have been most responsible and while, at the same time, being dogged in their advocacy for the promotion of the interests of workers in Lagos State, both in the public and private sector groups.
“In proof of the maturity and responsibility of the labour unions in our State, the organised labour has consistently met with members of our administration under different fora designed to identify and address possible areas of tension and disagreement before they fester into open conflicts. This approach has resulted in an unprecedented three-year period of uninterrupted industrial harmony and peace in Lagos State. For this, I most sincerely commend the labour unions in Lagos State,” he said.
The Governor, who said he was elated to join the workers to commemorate their day, seized the occasion to reaffirm his administration’s commitment to continue to prioritise their welfare and well being for the continuous growth and development of the State.
He said it was not in doubt that the developmental strides his administration had recorded since May 29, 2015 was due to the hard work, understanding and cooperation of workers both in the public and private sectors in the State.
“Our administration remains passionate and committed to handling and resolving all issues affecting the welfare, service entitlements, and infrastructural development for all workers in the State.
“It is on record that we have never defaulted in meeting our commitment to workers under the Contributory Pension Scheme and have always prioritised the payment of workers’ salaries and emoluments in addition to improving the welfare package of workers across the board,” Governor Ambode said.
Describing the theme of this year’s Worker’s Day Celebration, “Labour Movement in National Development: Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win” as apt and timely especially with the 2019 general elections beckoning, the Governor said it was imperative for the labour movement to see itself as a constructive partner of the government in ensuring peace and harmony in the society before, during, and after the conduct of the elections.
Governor Ambode also urged the various labour unions to show their strength and mobilise their members massively to obtain their Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) and use same during the elections to sustain the unity and progress of the nation.
Besides, the Governor assured that his administration would continue to partner with Leaders of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), adding that the requests tabled by both unions would be considered for the continuous peace, progress and prosperity, of not just all workers in Lagos State, but for all Lagosians.
He also urged organised labour to continue to be focused on realistic and reasonable goals while rightly insisting on the due and just entitlements of their members, while calling for all hands to be on deck to continue to explore innovative means to address the economic challenges in the country for the good of all Nigerian workers.
In their remarks, Chairmen of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), Lagos State Chapters, Comrades Idowu Adelakun and Francis Ogunremi commended Governor Ambode for massive infrastructural drive across the State, security of lives and property, as well as prompt and regular payment of salary among other welfare for workers in the State.
“The Governor must be commended for prompt and regular disbursement of salary to workers in Lagos State. The State Government is not indebted to her workers. Today, Lagos is a big construction site, courtesy of our progressive and development-oriented and people’s Governor.
“The NLC commends our proactive and foresighted Governor who has placed the security apparatus on red alert. The spate of operations of kidnappers has gone down considerably and Lagos has therefore become one huge secure smart city for local and international business transaction,” Adelakun said.
Ogunremi, on his part, said it was gratifying that Governor Ambode, has ensured payment of about N10billion to over 2,500 pensioners, while the present administration had equally performed creditably well in areas of road construction, security, traffic congestion, among others.
“Your Excellency, your listening hears to the concerns of workers and the Labour Centres as representatives of the workers is quite commendable. During this time last year, the two Labour Centres requested the Governor to replace the Secretariat buses for smooth running of the Unions in the State. Today, I make bold to inform that both TUC and LUC including all affiliate unions in public service have been presented operational buses,” Ogunremi said.
In her goodwill message, President of Women Arise, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin lauded Governor Ambode for concerted efforts at sustaining workers welfare and infrastructural renewal across the State.
“Comrade Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, the bulldozer of Lagos, is one of the Governors that pay salaries as at when due and he is a Governor that has carried a great revolution in terms of infrastructure.
“In the area of security, the ambience of security that we enjoy in Lagos can be seen as we even gather in a very peaceful manner. The Governor also has made it a point of duty in injecting live within the health sector,” she said.