Nigerian workers appealed to the incoming government of Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to device a means of improving the welfare of workers so as to engender industrial harmony.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews on Friday in Abuja, the respondents decried the fact the minimum wage still remained N18, 000 as in spite of the harsh economic condition in the country.
They advised the incoming government to institute an automatic minimum wage review mechanism in line with realities.
In his comments, Mr Bala Hadi, the National President, Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), advised the government to take the welfare of workers more seriously to win their support.
He expressed displeasure that government workers had not received their April salary, even as the May day was being celebrated.
“You can see that workers are out in large numbers to celebrate May Day; but it is regrettable that most government workers have not received their April salary, and this is not acceptable.
“Already, the welfare of Nigerian workers is very poor when compared to their contribution to nation- building; they are grossly underpaid.’’
He said that the N18,000 minimum wage was long overdue for an upward review and advised the incoming government to address the issue.
“The minimum wage of N18,000 is long overdue for review and since the present government will soon leave office, I advise the new government to do that as a matter of urgency.
“The new government should initiate a living wage to ensure that workers are able to meet their personal needs and those of their family members.
“Our expectation is that the government will initiate a mechanism to ensure an automatic, periodic review of salaries so that distractions like strikes can be avoided,’’ Hadi said.
Mr Julius Ada, a member of the Construction Workers’ Union, advised the government to improve the plight of construction workers in the country.
He complained that most construction companies were being controlled by foreigners who do not treat their Nigerian counterparts as equals.
“We really need government support in the construction industry so as to create a level playing field for Nigerian construction workers.
“We also need government intervention to help boost the construction industry so that construction workers can enjoy sustainable employment,’’ he said.
However, Mr. Donald Ibe, a Chef at Sheraton Hotel, who also attended the May Day celebration, observed the welfare of hotel workers was better when compared to the civil service.
He advised the incoming government to improve on the security in the country so that hotels and recreation spots could enjoy improved patronage. (NAN)