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May Day: Nigerian Workers Call For More Support

Workers in Edo state have called on the presidency, state governors and other relevant authorities to support and promote workers welfare in the country.

The workers made the call on Monday the 3rd of May in Benin City, the Edo state capital while celebrating the International Workers’ Day holiday.

The Federal Government declared Monday, May 3, as a public holiday to mark this year’s International Workers Day which usually falls on the 1st of May, in a statement signed by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Shuaib Belgore, on Thursday.

The workers who spoke to the reporter in Benin said workers in Nigeria need more support in terms of welfare, stressing that the 30,000 minimum wage do not meet the needs of workers in the country.

“We are calling on the government and other relevant authorities in Nigeria to support and promote workers welfare in the country so that workers can actually have reason to celebrate this holiday,” according to Mr Samson Oboh.

An agriculturist and a public servant in the state, Oghalu Azagba, said: “The government had several agreements with workers across different sectors in Nigeria and till now, most of those agreements have not been honoured on the part of the government, which has led to different strike actions and protests.”

“The workers are suffering right now, see the inflation rate, the N30,000 minimum wage cannot even meet the needs of workers in the country anymore. So the government and other stakeholders need to do more in terms of workers welfare,” he added.

The International Labour Day is observed on May 1st, annually, to mark the achievements of the workers and to spread awareness about exploitation. Also known as International Worker’s Day and May Day, is observed across the globe.

International Workers’ Day originated in the 19th century as a way to honour efforts to win an eight-hour workday, at a time when factory labourers in industrializing countries would regularly clock 70 hours or more per week, and conditions were frequently terrible.

May Day, as a holiday in Nigeria, was first declared by the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) Government of Kano State in 1980 and became a national holiday on May 1, 1981.

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