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I am ready to pay new minimum wage- Sanwo-Olu

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured workers in the State that his administration will implement the new minimum wage that is approved by the Federal Government.

The Governor also promised to look at demands presented before him by various unions in the state, saying my administration will continue to ensure good welfare packages for all the workers in the State.

He made the commitment in response to the demands of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) during the Workers’ Day celebration held on Wednesday at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos.

He praised all the committed, dedicated, resilient, and passionate workers in Lagos State for their contributions across all sectors in building and shaping the State, even in the face of challenges.

He said: “This year’s theme, ‘People First,’ resonates deeply with our administration’s philosophy, which is underpinned by our firm belief in prioritizing the welfare of our people.

“Through various measures, policies, and initiatives, we have demonstrated that the interest and welfare of the people come first and remain the ultimate goal of all our actions. Our response actions are geared towards mitigating the impact of these trying times and offering support to both our workers and citizens alike.

“We have been steadfast and intentional in implementing our social intervention programmes, providing crucial assistance to those in need throughout the state. From subsidised food items through our Ounje Eko, and Eko Cares initiatives to incentives on social services, we have made tangible differences in countless lives.

“Healthcare initiatives that ensure access to quality medical services for all, transportation support, and educational opportunities for our children exemplify our commitment to creating a Lagos where everyone has a fair chance to thrive. Our dedication to putting people first extends beyond mere words.”

Speaking on his administration’s commitment to workers’ welfare, Governor Sanwo-Olu said: “As we look towards the future, I want to reaffirm our commitment to building a more inclusive and equitable society in which the interests of workers receive the attention it deserves.

“We will continue to invest in education, training, and skills development to equip our workforce with the tools they need to succeed in their places of work because we recognize the vital role that workers play in driving progress and prosperity in our society. And we pledge to build a future where every worker is respected, empowered and able to live with dignity and pride.”

The Governor, while speaking on the current fuel scarcity, advised Lagos residents against panic buying and storage of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, saying the Federal Government and the major stakeholders in the oil sector are working round the clock to end the fuel scarcity.

He said he has received assurances from the authorities that there is enough fuel at tank stations, and the distribution of the product will be intensified to ease the current fuel scarcity across the country.

In their respective speeches, the Chairperson of NLC, Lagos State Council, Funmi Sessi and her TUC counterpart, Gbenga Ekundayo, praised Governor Sanwo-Olu for making workers’ welfare a priority of his administration.

They urged the governor to implement the agreed minimum wage, expected to be announced by the Federal Government.

Sessi said: “Let me use this unique occasion of May Day to commend and appreciate our Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for all his interventions to cushion the effect of the economic problems and ameliorate the suffering of the workers in the State.

“We all witnessed his policy on the last reduction in BRT transportation, the setting up of a discounted food mart, the three-day working policy, the payment of a 20 percent increment in salary, the full implementation of N35,000 Wage Award as approved by the Federal Government, and prompt payment of salary.”

Ekundayo commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for his prompt action in implementing the Wage Award for all public servants in Lagos State, noting that the swift response has provided much-needed relief to mitigate the adverse combined effects of the recent subsidy removal and devaluation of the Naira.

“Lagos has been at the forefront of implementing welfare programmes that positively impact workers, and your (Governor Sanwo-Olu) dedication to this course is deeply appreciated. Your commitment to prioritising the welfare of your people is perfectly aligned with our core belief of placing citizens first,” he said.

Speaking earlier, Lagos State Commissioner for Establishment and Training, Afolabi Ayantayo, commended the leadership of the Organised Labour for their maturity, understanding, and steadfast support for the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

He said: “The theme of this year’s May Day, which is “People First,” resonates profoundly with the resolve of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration in placing the welfare and empowerment of every worker within Lagos State beyond other considerations.

“Under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Government has implemented a plethora of social intervention programmes that are targeted at enhancing the well-being of the populace.”

Also speaking, the Lagos State Head of Service, Bode Agoro, said the theme of the 2024 May Day celebration, which is “People First,” reflects the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration’s commitment to prioritising the well-being, welfare, and prosperity of workers and citizens at large in Lagos State.

During the May Day celebration attended by thousands of workers from the public and private sectors, over 50 unions from different sectors took part in the march past.

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