As workers across the globe celebrate this year’s Workers’ Day, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye has urged States, Local and Federal Government to prioritize workers welfare and ensure their labor do not go in vain.
Kalejaiye made the call during this year’s Workers’ Day, a day that was set aside globally to commemorate outstanding contributions of workers to the development and growth of the economy.
Speaking on the need to upgrade the economic status and welfare of Nigerian workers, he said workers day celebration must go beyond declaration of public holiday, he quizzed, of what benefit is a work-free day while the entire family is hungry?
He stated further that the reward for labor must commensurate with the efforts put in place by every worker in the country.
But in spite of their diligence and commitment, Kalejaiye noted Nigerian workers are underpaid, homeless and live in penury.
He said, “Workers are the fulcrum on which the success and growth of every economy lies. They are worth celebrating for their contributions, support and for being reliable partners in nation-building.
Their efforts toward economic growth and development in the country must be adequately rewarded by both the government and employers of labors. And this must go beyond the government declaring an holiday for workers.
It is only those that have the financial means that can afford to stay at home and enjoy the declared holiday.
In Nigeria today, many Nigerians work round the clock but couldn’t feed their family neither could their shelter and educate their children. There are cases of retirees turning homeless and dying of hunger. Our government should secure the future of Nigeria’s workers so that when they retire there will be something to fall back on.
Also, our youths must be encouraged to embrace farming because a country that cannot feed her citizen cannot be said to be self-reliant. I could recall during the era of the late political sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, he created farm settlement in some States in the Southwest.
Since Awolowo left in 1959 and died in 1987, what becomes of these farm settlements?
Our governors in the region must revive farming culture among the youths. Apart from creating jobs, many would go into subsistence farming and by extension the challenges of poverty and hunger would be solved.
So as we mark this year’s Workers’ Days, I appeal to our governors and the presidency to invest more in the future of workers in the country and ensure that workers are adequately remunerated in line with the stanzas of our national anthem.
Once again, I wish Nigerian workers a fruitful and rewarding labor. Happy workers’ day Nigerians!”