By Michael Oche
As Nigeria marks its 62nd independence anniversary, Minister of Labour and Employment has hailed the heroic roles which Nigerian workers played in Nigeria’s independence struggle and the sustenance of that freedom since 1960.
Ngige, in a statement Friday in Abuja by his Media Office, said the Federal Government in very much concerned about the welfare of the workforce.
He assured that the administration of President Muhanmmadu Buhari will leave no stone unturned in ensuring an improved welfare for all workers, in the face of extant challenges that have eaten into the New National Minimum Wage.
According to the Minister, the Federal Government is not unmindful of the runaway prices of goods and services and their deleterious consequences on salaries and wages.
He said, “ It is another opportunity to reflect on the heroic roles which the Nigerian workforce, operating under different unions played in Nigeria’s independence struggle and the sustenance of that freedom since October 1, 1960.
“ Nothing is too much as a compensation, hence, reason the present administration has continued to show unflinching commitment to the improved lots of all workers even in the face of dwindling national earnings. The new national minimum wage and its consequential adjustment(wage increase) were implemented in 2019. And despite the economy slipping twice into recession, the President ensured that no worker in the federal government employ, lost his or her job.
“ Even while COVID-19 forced the entire world on bended knees and millions lost their jobs globally, the Federal Government shielded its workers. Notwithstanding the two-third federal staff strength at home, in conformity with COVID protocol, salaries were paid as and when due.
“ Therefore, the Federal Government is concerned over the plight of workers, consequent upon the adverse effects of galloping inflation on salaries and wages. While this gale of inflation is a global phenomenon, and not restricted to Nigeria, we call for further understanding of workers as government plans an appropriate response. President Buhari has never failed Nigerian workers. Not now!”
On the growing unemployment rate, Senator Ngige said his Ministry has established a Labour Market Information System(LMIS) intended to generate, analyse and integrate job related data from all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, to enable the sector policy makers track labour market indicators and generate employments.
He said focal officers who will be pivot of the scheme will be soon commence work in all the MDAs, adding that the synergy arising from the system will consolidate hitherto solo efforts and break new grounds in tackling the unemployment situation.