Bail Out: Labour hails Buhari, wants Governors to bail out LGAs


President Muhammadu Buhari has been commended by Organized Labour for bailing out debtor states in meeting the pay obligations to their workers.
It also called on the state governors who could not pay salaries of their workers to apply same principle to debtor-local government areas of their respective states.
In a statement issued by Comrade Issa Aremu, he stated that 1999 Constitution says “that the primary duty and responsibility as well as the primary purpose of government is the security and welfare of the people which can only be made possible with ‘suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, reasonable national (minimum) living wage, old age care and pensions, and unemployment, sick benefits and welfare of the disabled’.”
Comrade Aremu who is the General Secretary, Textile Workers’ Union and member NEC of NLC‎, observed that nothing including declining oil revenue could justify delayed or non-payment of workers’ salaries, adding that payments of salaries and pension are legitimate entitlements and mark of corporate responsibility of any employer and urged governors to reorder their resources in such a way that labour is seen as a critical factor of development before anything else.
“Whoever employs must pay the working man or woman as at when due” he said.
He likened non-payment of salaries to what he called “economicide”, which he describes as “a systemic destruction of lives of workers on account of lack of means of livelihood adding that many workers have died due to non-payment of salaries that were never adequate even when promptly paid.
As the economy is officially acknowledged to be in recession, the labour leader urged Buhari’s administration to intensify move towards reindustrialization through diversification and what he called “wage-led economic recovery”.
He observed that Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) had raised the alarm about low demand for locally produced goods, leading to high inventories and low capacity utilization.
“Nigeria can only diversify its economy if workers as consumers are well paid to patronize locally produced goods and services”. He also observed that Anti-corruption campaign cannot be sustained when workers do not receive adequate salaries on time.
“A hungry worker is not only angry but vulnerable to graft. There is a link between economic growth and wage payment” he noted.


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