National Insecurity: Labour has failed Nigerians by failing to act —Governor Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that labour has failed Nigerians by refusing to act in the face of unbridled killings of defenceless Nigerians across the country .
The governor said it is not in national interest for labour to be only concerned about salary increment when their kith and kin are mauled to the death on a daily basis.
In an address during the 2018 Workers Day in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said: “Labour is only after the increment of wages and emoluments without showing concern for the mass killings going on across different states of the Federation.
“Labour is quiet in the face of deaths. Of what benefit will increment of salaries be when all your children, friends and relatives are killed in the course of this national insecurity? It is incumbent on labour to rise up in defence of Nigerians by demanding for immediate cessation of killings “.
Governor Wike said that Labour has a duty to work towards the progress of Nigeria as they battle for their welfare. He said that labour must rekindle their pre-2015 posture when they participated in occupy Nigeria during the Jonathan era.
The governor urged labour to defend the nation’s democracy which is under threat by the failure of the APC Federal Government to respect the rule of law and democratic tenets.
“Be vigilant and defend our democracy in 2019. That is what labour is known for. Labour thrives under democracy. Without democracy, labour will run into challenges “, he said.
He said that the state is investing in building a strong economy that will enable workers earn decent wages, empower entrepreneurs to create jobs and provide improved livelihood opportunities for Rivers people.
He said: “We have approved an interest-free revolving loan scheme for civil servants. The annual sum earmarked for this programme is N1, 200,000,000.00 (one billion two hundred naira) only, with a monthly disbursement of N100, 000,000.00 (one hundred million naira only.
“We have also approved another interest-free loan for owners of small businesses to access to enhance their businesses, create jobs and grow the economy. An annual sum of N2, 400,000,000.00 (two billion four hundred million) only, has been set-aside for this purpose with a monthly disbursement of N200, 000,000.00 (two hundred million naira) only”
The governor said that his administration is already working to fix some of the subsisting challenges, including the contributory pension scheme, the contributory health insurance scheme and the payment of gratuities to retired civil servants.
He announced that the State Government will construct State Secretariats for the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress. He also announced a donation of N100million to the different labour unions.
In her address, Rivers State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mrs Beatrice Otubo commended the Rivers State Governor for his regular payment of salaries and pensions.
She urged the governor to take steps to resolve the challenges surrounding the contributory pension scheme and gratuity to retired civil servants. The Labour Leader also commended Governor Wike for his outstanding developmental strides.
Chairman of the Trade Union Congress in Rivers State, Mr Austin Jonah lauded the Rivers State Governor for his numerous infrastructural and development projects across the state.
The Workers Day was marked by parade by all the affiliate trade unions in the state, with Governor Wike taking the official salute.