Workers Are Key To National Growth- Kwara Governor
The Kwara state Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said workers are critical to national growth, noting that whatever developmental mileages the administration has made across sectors are linked to the workforce.
Speaking at the 2021 commemoration of the annual May Day in Ilorin, the Governor also reassured Kwara workers of his administration’s commitment to improving their well-being despite the dwindling revenue amid the impact of covid 19 pandemic.
Describing the labour as integral component of successive government and a determining factor in attainment of good governance, AbdulRazaq commended them for adding value and for being committed to the growth of kwara.
“(This year’s May Day) is coming at a time when the whole world is experiencing serious economic crisis and the biting effect of COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the Governor who was represented by the Head of Service Mrs Modupe Oluwole.
“We concede that things have been tough as the world gradually recovers from COVID-19 and resources continue to dwindle but we are upbeat that the future looks bright as we recommit ourselves to workers’ welfare side by side with the rest of the population, especially the vulnerable and the poor, and infrastructural development to widen our economic base.”
He commended the labour force, especially the front line health workers for their sacrifices during the public health crisis.
He also said his government is revitalising the economy through heavy investments in farming and agribusiness, and creating enabling environment for entrepreneurs to grow.
Saying his administration is working round the clock to build a stronger economic base for the state, the Governor added: “It is time to think out of the box and explore our comparative advantages by investing in agribusiness and new skills to give Kwara State an edge. Through our efforts, Kwara has been designated the north central headquarter for the Federal Government’s special agricultural processing zone. Recently, we launched the Farm Kwara initiative which targets mainly the youth and women. Each local government is expected to have some 500 hectares of land cultivated by young people in conjunction with the private sector and technical partners. It is designed to engage them and make farming very profitable and convenient for them.
“Similarly, we are investing to make Kwara technology and entertainment hub through the Innovation Hub and Visual Arts Centre. This will provide enabling environment for the youth and generations unborn, including children of the civil servants, to thrive. Your support for these initiatives will be critical as it will be a win-win situation for everyone.”
On the consequential adjustment component of the minimum wage, the Governor sought patience and understanding of the union particularly in the light of the current economic realities.
“I understand the position of Labour particularly regarding the Minimum Wage. I assure you all that we certainly do not overlook these issues and we are considering all positive options to further make our workers happy. I call for your understanding and support for us to get through this hard time,” he said.
Also on the occasion of the 2021 International Labour Day, the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Yakubu Danladi-Salihu praised Kwara workers’ commitment and dedication to the overall development of the state.
He noted that the workers’ sacrifice and perseverance while discharging their duties are well-acknowledged and appreciated by the government and would not go without being rewarded.
“On this 2021 International Labour Day, I heartily rejoice with and commend our workers’ sacrifice, commitment and faithfulness while discharging their duties at their various places of assignment”
“Like we have demonstrated in the past in the Ninth Assembly, we will continue to prioritize the welfare of Kwara workers and ensure that their interests are protected for them to continue to give in their best in service”.
The Speaker while assuring workers of a better deal within the available resources by the present administration, urged them to continue to do their best and cooperate with the government.
In a related development, Workers in Kwara state under the umbrella of Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have used the Workers Day celebration to reiterate their demand for implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage, saying the demand is non-negotiable.
Speaking at the event, the TUC chairman in the state, Comrade Akinsola Akinwunmi, called on the state government to come back to negotiation table on their outstanding demands, adding that the implementation of the minimum wage is their right.The labour leader, who said that May Day is a day to appreciate Nigerian workers for the symbolic sacrifice to the nation’s economy, added that, “The N30,000 minimum wage and consequential adjustment is our right and a must to be implemented for improved standard of living of the least paid workers in the service of government of Kwara State.
“Across the globe, May Day represents an auspicious moment in the life of an average worker largely on account of the fact that it presents a unique opportunity to, collectively, as a labour movement, appraise the contributions of workers to the nation’s economy.
In his address, titled, “COVID-19 Socio and Economic Crisis: Challenges for Decent Jobs, Social Protection and People’s Welfare, Comrade Akinwumi said that, “May Day further places on our shoulder the onerous responsibilities of continually being the voice of the generality of our voiceless workers by intensifying the struggles against any perceived form of social injustice and anti-workers policies that negatively affect the well-being of our workers
“The Workers Day may not only be viewed as a day to celebrate the hardworking people, but a moment to reflect on our collective struggle, rights, respect, and dignity”.