By Emmanuel Elebeke
As Nigerian workers join the rest of the world to mark the commemoration of Workers day, President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union to brace up for the harsh economic realities in the country occasioned by the recent fall in the price of oil at the international market, saying that industrial relationship can only be more cordial, if democracy is nurtured to grow.
The President, represented by the Minister of labour, Sen. Joel Danlamilkenya, commended the workers for their various contributions in the sustenance of the nation’s development and democracy, described workers as the gateway for nation development.
He pointed out that the present harsh economic is so glaring that the workers cannot afford to ignore in their egaments with government and advised them to be realistic with their demands.
‘‘It is in this circumstance that the team of this year’s theme becomes more germane for positive engagement between government and labour. It is therefore proper to celebrate workers because of the critical role they play in the society. May Day confers the opportunity to reflect on the inherent reality we are being confronted with scarce resources.
‘‘The Nigerian labour movement has chosen a team that is germane to our nation. The theme is quite succinct and reflective. The NLC and TUC have a duty to play, chatting a way forward for continued development and growth of Nigeria.
‘‘The workers apart from their immense contribution have in small ways, have made contributions towards the achievement of democracy through the enhancement of the processes and participation. Over these years, the workers have deepened their voice and government have attended to them.
There is a new initiative being championed by the ministry of labour and productivity aimed at broadening the industrial and labour harmony and trade unionism. This development will no doubt engender the spirit of patriotism, national consciousness, abiding by natural justice and reasoning.
‘‘For us, the labour movement is central to national productivity and development, as such have a critical role to play in chatting a way forward for continued development and productivity and in settling labour disputes.
‘‘I have set a mechanism in place to further deepen government and labour relation. Let us use this opportunity to make a commitment for national development and rebirth. Attainment of national vision will not be possible without the commitment, work and participation of Nigerian workers. It is a joint effort. I look forward to seeing strong and vibrant federation under the new leadership of labour. I urged them to ensure workers welfare and work constructively for transformation of Nigeria.’