Ngige seeks workers’s support for repositioning of economy
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has urged workers to continue to support the government’s efforts at repositioning the economy. Ngige, who made the call in Abuja, yesterday, in his New Year message, commended the workers for their understanding of the challenges facing the Federal Government in repositioning the economy and sanitising the polity since 2015.
He added that the Federal Government has in appreciation made enormous sacrifices to protect the workers and secure their future.
“The workforce we inherited in 2015 was one seriously demoralised by decade-long unpaid salaries and allowances; a restive workforce with simmering agitations and perennial threats of a strike. It was a workforce challenged down by private sector retrenchments and varying unfair labour practices.
“But the Federal Government did not only clear these arrears of salaries and allowances in a record time, the President out of compassion, granted a bailout fund to the states to enable them clear theirs, and further gave an express directive that no worker serving in the federal civil or public service should be retrenched, the foreboding economic downturn that resulted in recession notwithstanding,” he explained.
Ngige submitted that after stabilising the federal civil and public service, government moved decisively into the private sector and defused raging gale of retrenchment in the oil and gas sector, construction and the financial sectors of the economy through a ventilated social dialogue that saved millions of jobs that were already put on the line.
The Minister added that notwithstanding economic challenges faced by the present government, it initiated, consummated and implemented the new national minimum wage and its consequential adjustment and set up a five man-presidential committee on salaries and wages with prospects of a general wage review and a pivotal focus on re-evaluation of service to synchronise work and earnings with productivity as denominator.
The Minister, therefore challenged workers to render honest and diligent service while exhorting Nigerians in general on the virtues of love and unity as key to building a strong and prosperous nation.
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