The political class should wake up and re-address the plight of the Nigerian workers, whose, positive side we’ll see if properly motivated.
We need to equitably redistribute our wealth. Workers have been abandoned but they are not a burden; they create the wealth, but a hungry man can never put in his best.
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Most of the complaints we hear from civil servants border on welfare issues; promotions, payment of allowances, and the minimum wage issue. In some states, the issue is consequential adjustment, some MDAs just add 1 or 2,000 naira for those on Grades Level 7 and above.
There is the problem of transportation, and the issue of training and re-training, the lack of it, or bringing quacks to train them on what is not in consonance with the workplace activity. These and other issues affect the productivity of the Nigerian worker.
There’s this wrong belief in some quarters that some workers are idle, they come to work late and leave early, but is the civil servant being taken care of as expected? Let’s take Abuja for instance where a worker is living in Keffi and the hold-up he experiences daily, four hours before reaching office, and you say he is late, the same when he’s going back home.
There is misplacement of priority; look at the rail system in Abuja from the central area to the airport. Is there any need for this? It should have been to Keffi instead so that it would ease the worker’s plight. The government cannot now turn and blame the worker. Dualise this Keffi road to 10 lanes on both sides.
And is the Nigerian government motivating the worker? The N30,000 minimum wage, how much is it in dollars? Can it feed a man and his family for a month? Can it pay house rent, medicals, transportation and school fees for him? The minimum wage should be taken to N80,000 per month.
But we continue to spend our hard-earned money, without anything on the ground. In other climes, these problems are properly addressed.
Basically, we, as a labour union, aim to protect the right of workers, both federal and state. We address members’ problems with their organisations, ranging from salaries to other welfare issues. Another thing is that we are out to protect organisations from rascality from the management side; in terms of abuse of office we also come in.
The workers should however continue to put in their best and believe that one day things would be better. After all, Nigeria is our country; we don’t have any other one.
Com. Benjamin Anthony, National President, Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, (AUPCTRE)