By George Odok
Calabar – As workers in Nigeria celebrates the 2017 Workers Day, a lawmaker, Mr Hilary Bisong, has called on government at all levels to place premium on the welfare of their workers.
Bisong, who represents Boki II State Constituency in the Cross River House of Assembly, made the call on Monday in Calabar in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that in view of the enormous work carried out by most civil servants across the country, it was important for government at all levels to initiate policies in their favour.
Bisong, who described civil servants as the engine room of any government, expressed concern about the poor working environment of some workers.
“On the occasion of the 2017 celebration of workers day, I wish to call on the local, states and Federal Governments to place premium on the welfare of their workers.
“There is no way a government can run a smooth administration without the support of the workers.
“The workers are the engine room of every government because they serve for a longer period of years before retirement.
“Today, some states still owe salaries of workers while others have yet to pay gratuities of pensioners who have served in various fields for 35 years and even more.
“If we must get it right in this country, we must place premium on the welfare of our workers because some of them earn a megre amount that do no longer take them home’’, he said.
The lawmaker, who lauded Gov. Ben Ayade for paying May salaries of civil servants in the state on April 30, called on states that owed salaries to clear the backlog.
He urged the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to be steadfast and dedicated in the demand for a new minimum wage for workers in the country, saying that a minimum wage of N18, 000 was no longer suitable for workers.
“In view of the rising cost of food, non-food items and other human needs, I wish to ask the NLC to be steadfast and dedicated in their demand for a new minimum wage.
“I know that the efforts are ongoing; I encourage them to hold strong until the Federal Government signs in a new minimum wage,’’ he said.