Shagari demostrated real love for Nigeria workers – NLC

Shagari demostrated real love for Nigeria workers – NLC
December 31 00:19 2018 Print This Article

By Martin Odiete

The Nigeria Labour Congress has described the former Nigeria president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari who passed on few days ago as a great patriot and Nationalistic leader who had the interest of Nigeria workers greatly at heart.

In a statement signed by the president of Nigeria Labour Congress, comrade Ayuba Wabba on Sunday and made available to, they noted that the Union will continue to remember some of the landmark achievement made by the former president particularly his efforts towards industrialising the country.

“Shagari initiated some of the land mark projects including iron and steel and petrochemicals in his quest to make Nigeria an industrial hub.

“Not a few hold the view that but for the coup that removed him from power in 1983, unceremoniously cutting short his second term,  Shagari would have seen through his vision of a highly industrialised Nigeria.

NLC also noted that the then president had the plans to build an enduring culture of democratic succession plan, “We similarly hold the view that given his urbane and simple and straight forward life style,  Shagari would have built an enduring culture of democratic succession in spite of some of the disputed elections in his time,”

The Nigeria Labour Congress also stressed that the contribution of the former president to the welfare of workers during his time would continue to endear him to the Union.

“For us at the Nigeria Labour he signed into law the National Minimum Wage Act of 1981 that provided for a new national minimum wage of N125 which was equivalent to about $200.

“It took more than deft move and political will to execute this.  It took the milk of human kindness in Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari and his deep appreciation of the dignity of labour and value of the human life to do this.

They stressed that what the late president did back then in the kind of increament he gave can more be appreciated when compared to the kind of increments currents regimes have approved for workers in recent time.

“To truly appreciate the value of what Shagari did for workers way back then without a bloody fight,  let us pause and reflect on the value of the present national minimum wage of N18,000 which is  $49;  and the new national minimum wage of N30,000 (equivalent to $82) which is due since 2016,”

The Nigeria Labour Congress also stated that the former president performance in the housing sector is worthy of remembrance.

“One of his other legacies was a national housing scheme,  a component of which was the building of low-cost houses for workers across the then 19 states of the federation,” they noted.

“In light of his contributions to national development,  peace in the land,  and welfare of workers,  Shagari remains a national hero, patriot, and a distinguished gentleman. He never for a moment allowed the allure of office to becloud his judgement, especially about the objective conditions of workers. The good he has done shall therefore not be interred with him but shall live after him,” they concluded.

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