Labour leaders and workers on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to put in more efforts to meet their expectations as the country marks 19 years of democracy.
The labour leaders and others spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos in reaction to the speech presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to mark three years of his administration.
Buhari’s democracy speech gave a synopsis of his administration’s achievements in the last three years in over 30 points on issues of economy, security and corruption.
Mr Muhammed Kiri, the President, Civil Service Union told NAN that the administration had put in good efforts in tackling corruption but it needed to do more to curb the daily killings in some parts of the country.
Kiri said that workers were impoverished because of many factors, including poor minimum wage, which expressed the hope that it would soon be effectively tackled by the Minimum Wage Committee.
”As a member of the minimum wage committee, we will soon start the technical session to debate on pertinent issues that will help us reach a conclusion on the wage increase,” he said.
The labour leader urged the government to tackle various other problems that would ensure that the people derived dividends of democracy.
Mr Didi Adodo, the General Secretary, United Labour Congress (ULC), said that Nigerians, particularly workers expected more in the last three years because of the economic challenges.
Adodo said that some state government still owed thousands of workers salaries and allowances which had further impoverished them.
”We expect more from the leaders that will reflect the desired change.
“Workers are still expecting a new minimum wage, insecurity has not abated and cost of goods are still high,” he said.
Mr Simon Anchaver, the President, Agriculture and Allied Employees Union of Nigeria (AAEUN), appealed for stiffer measures that would reduce the killings in Benue and other states.
According to Anchaver, insecurity has affected agriculture produce, in spite of government’s efforts to pursue food security programme.
”Today many cannot sleep with two eyes closed in Benue.
“Government has done some programmes but the high rate of insecurity has made us not to feel the impact,” he said.
The union president urged the Federal Government to fulfill all its promises to improve the lives of the people.
Mr Muda Yusuf, the Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( LCCI) said that though expectations of Nigerians were yet to be met, the government had done well in some areas.
Yusuf commended the Buhari-led administration on its improvement on foreign reserve, which has grown from 23 billion dollars to 47 billion dollars.
He said that though inflation rate had declined but it was yet to reflect on goods and services.
He, therefore, appealed to the government to reduce interest on loans to boost businesses.