Lagos - The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Dr Alfred Martins, on Friday urged the President-elect, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to give top priority to the welfare of Nigerian workers in his administration.
The Archbishop stated this in Lagos in his May Day message, signed by the Director of Social Communications, Msgr. Gabriel Osu.
He urged Buhari to facilitate a more cordial relationship with the Nigerian workers through an upward review of the N 18,000 minimum wage being paid to workers.
"When you consider the depreciating value of our local currency against the dollar and the high inflation level in the land, it is obvious that the prevailing minimum wage is far from being adequate for our workers."
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"They deserve a better deal. I, therefore, urge the incoming administration to take another look at the minimum wage with the intention of making it more realistic and dignifying," he said.
On the part of Nigerian workers, Martins, who praised the nation’s work force for their resilience over the years, urged them not to despair as better days lay ahead.
He equally urged them to take a cue from the exemplary life of St. Joseph, the patron Saint of workers, who, through his dedication to his carpentry trade while on earth, showed that there was indeed dignity in labour.
The Archbishop expressed worry over the high rate of unemployment amongst the youth.
He said the battle against corruption would continue to remain a mirage unless the rate of unemployment in the society was reduced drastically.
Martins appealed to Buhari to address the plight of retired workers by ensuring prompt payment of their pensions and gratuities after their retirement.