COVID-19 offers us time to re-examine workers’ welfare- Edo Rep
By Monsuru Olowoopejo
A member of the House of Representatives from Edo State, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, has said that this year’s Workers Day celebration, halted by coronavirus outbreak in the country, further indicated the need for Nigeria to re-examine and place a premium on labour’s welfare in Nigeria.
Ogbeide-Ihama added that the impact coronavirus had on this year’s celebration required that the country re-organise administrative structures and systems towards the development of workers and to aid their delivery in the country.
He added that it was also a viable opportunity for increased use of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in administrative operations for workers with attendant capacity building, and increased creation of jobs through strategic diversification of the state’s revenue sources.
The lawmaker, who represents Oredo Federal Constituency, in a statement on Friday to commemorate this year’s Worker’s Day, said despite the fact that the celebration had been dampened by the pandemic, Nigerian workers deserve to be commended for their selfless service to the nation.
“Times like this should awaken us to the need for creative and innovative thinking targeted at improving the lots of our dear workers. I assure you that with fresh ideas and new ways of thinking, the future holds hope and prosperity for you and your loved ones,” he said.
According to him, despite the situation and in line with this year’s theme ‘Stop the Pandemic’ it was important to celebrate Nigerian workers, most especially those in the health sector working to protect citizens from a ravaging enemy.
He said: “In ideal circumstances, I should begin by saying Happy Workers Day; but these are not ideal circumstances. The present pandemic has clouded our celebrations with an atmosphere of confusion, fear for our health and those of our families, expectations of a bleak economy post-COVID-19, and uncertainty about whether workers will still have jobs when this is over.
“We thank them for their selfless service and sacrifice, as we also thank all other workers for their dedication and commitment to driving the engine that keeps our state running.
“In spite of all the negative permutations, two things are key; one the spirit of the Edo worker is strong and resolute and their passion and readiness to discharge their duties are unquestionable. Also, if provided the right leadership to work with, most of the concerns mentioned earlier would not be as troubling as they are at present,” he said.
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