By Bukola Olafia/ Joan Nwagwu
Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), says the Federal Government is committed to ensuring that the new National Minimum Wage meets the present economic realities.
Mustapha said this at a dinner and award night organised to mark the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) 40th Anniversary celebration.
The theme of the anniversary is: “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, National Unity and Social Justice’’.
According to him, the Federal Government is conscious of the need to bring wages to meet economic realities.
“It is in this regard that the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage was inaugurated to review the National Minimum Wage.
“The committee is determined to complete its assignment before the end of this year.
“I am confident that the outcome of the assignment would address the issue of social imbalance, inequality and the wide gap of poverty in the country.
“That is why this administration takes the welfare of the Nigerian worker as priority by putting so much effort into the resuscitation of the economy.’’
Mustapha said the primary objective of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) was to diversify the economy, grow skills, create wealth, gain infrastructures, ensure food security and provide jobs.
He noted the importance of the NLC in the affairs of any government could not be overlooked.
“It is the soul of the government because without the workers, be they civil servants, private sector workers or even pensioners, there will be nobody to man the system,‘’ he said.
The SGF while speaking on the theme of the NLC anniversary said it was apt and time to count on achievements and chat a new course for the future.
According to him, it is indeed a time to reflect on years of struggle, turbulence and the service of the congress to the Nigerian workers.
“I believe that together, we can build the Nigeria of our dream and improve on the generality of the life of Nigerians.
“It is also a time to recognise and reward excellence. I stand here to celebrate with the NLC, not just as SGF, but also as a comrade.
“ I have been a comrade right from my school days and shall remain so until tomorrow. I would like to say that you have a member in this government.’’
Earlier, Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President said the three-day anniversary celebration had been that of brain storming event.
“From the volume of discourse, it is very clear that the future will be bright because we have assembled the best from among our rank and file.
“We brought in our founding fathers that laid the solid foundation that allowed us to continue to exist despite the challenges.
“ I am certain and all of us are convinced that from the issues that were discoursed, we have reasons to look into the future and build NLC of our dreams.
“It is therefore our sincere hope that with the determination of our founding fathers and the solid foundation they have laid, we are assured that the future is already secured.’’
The NLC President said the anniversary award was to recognise the contribution of patriots, founding fathers, organisations and individuals that had worked assiduously to ensure that NLC continue to exist.
He said some of the awardees contribution were too numerous to mention, adding that some had paid the supreme price and laid down their lives.
“Some have suffered deformity and others are here with us and we are going to recognise their contributions.
“Therefore, this occasion is to recognise key contribution of individuals and organisations as well as our veterans who have stood their ground even in the face of adversity.
“In the era of the military, some of them spent several months in jail. There is no other occasion to recognise these people than the 40th anniversary congress.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari was represented by Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment who presented the awards.
Some of the awardees include Mr Hassan Sunmonu, pioneer president of the NLC, Mr Ali Chiroma, late Pascal Bafyau, Mr Adams Oshiomole, among others.
They were awarded in recognition of their sacrifice and excellent services in the struggle for social justice.