The atmosphere was sombre yesterday at the State House in Marina, where the Lagos State government and leaders of organised labour unions held a low-key event to commemorate the 2020 Workers’ Day.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu used the opportunity to appreciate frontline health and emergency workers, whom he described as heroes for sacrificing their personal wellbeing for the efforts at combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor said the commemoration of Workers’ Day should be a reminder to stakeholders that the concept of development must be far-reaching and inclusive for it to benefit the society in general.
Describing labour force as “a critical stakeholder” in good governance and “engine-room” of the economic growth, Sanwo-Olu said his administration, since inception, had prioritised payment of new minimum wage to workers as a demonstration of his government’s commitment to improving their welfare.
He also said his administration had continued to assist families of workers who died in the line of duty, adding that the state had not relented, despite COVID-19 pandemic, in paying 418 pensioners for their pension bond arrears.
He said: “It is only fitting that I dedicate this year’s commemoration of the Workers’ Day to celebrating the true heroes of this season, which are the health workers on the frontline of the battle against Covid-19. Since this virus started to ravage our communities and disrupt our lives, these heroes have not just been going to work daily, they have been going to war daily against this unseen enemy.
“Workers across public and private sectors, who are represented by various labour unions, are the engine-rooms of our economy, and the nucleus of wealth generation. My administration will always seek a harmonious relationship with workers for the progress and prosperity of our state. The prompt approval and payment of the new minimum wage is proof that we care about the welfare of our workforce.”