As workers across the world today mark this Year’s Workers’ Day, otherwise known as International Labour Day, organised labour has expressed deep concerns that the country is still struggling in its quest for good governance several years after independence.
While noting that successive regimes, administrations, and political leaders across different strata have promised good living and working conditions, as well as improved economy over the years but failed ultimately, the labour movement bemoaned the pitiable condition in which Nigerians eke out their livelihoods.
Labour representatives, who spoke with The Guardian ahead of today’s celebration, highlighted the high rate of unemployment, galloping inflation in the economy, devaluation of the naira, low wages, widespread insecurity, the rising cost of living, a near-comatose education sector, and a failing healthcare sector, as some of the indices that have made life more grueling for workers.
They, therefore, urged the Federal Government to address these niggling issues decisively and urgently. The President, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria, Quadri Olaleye, however, faulted the inactive participation of Nigerian workers in past general elections, saying it is partly responsible for the “pitiable condition the workers have found themselves, especially in the area of minimum wage implementation.”