MAY 1, 2017
Vanguard newspaper reports that the National Workers Day celebration in Abuja, was disrupted for close to one hour by workers who barred government officials represented by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige from delivering a speech.The reports claim that even attempts by the former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole could not save the situation as he was also stopped by workers chanting “we no go gree.” Activities at the Eagle Square was suspended for hours, while workers were leaving the venue in droves. It was also reported that workers threw water cans and plastic bottles at the officials as the police made attempts to drive them out from the podium. Which eventually resulted in the Nigerian Police bringing in an armored vehicle to control and successfully disperse the rampaging workers.
It was totally unclear the reason for the attitude of workers but it is widely believed that it would not be unconnected with the recent and persistent plea to the government to increase the minimum wage of government workers from the current N18,000.00 (Eighteen thousand) Naira being paid as it is no more feasible in the wake of current economic realities. A plea which government appears to have paid deaf ears to.
It would be recalled that when the pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) was increased to N145 last year, The Federal Government promised some palliative measures to ease the pain of workers, one of which was an increase in minimum wage of workers. One year down the line, it is yet to be implemented.
It remains unclear what would happen in the coming days but workers do not seem to be giving up on their right to demand better treatment from their government.