BY Ebunoluwa Olafusi
President Muhammadu Buhari says fair economic structure and the provision of equal opportunities are essential for growth and development.
Buhari spoke in Abuja on Monday at the commemoration of the 2023 Workers’ Day, with the theme: “Workers’ Rights and Socio-Economic Justice”.
Represented by Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Buhari noted that promoting workers’ rights and equity makes a happy workplace.
“Workers’ rights coupled with socio-economic justice make a happy workplace,” Buhari said.
“We, therefore, agree that a fair economic structure, targeted at creating opportunities for all to succeed irrespective of sex, race/ethnicity, age, disability, creed, religion among others, is sine qua non for progress and development.”
The president said Nigeria, as a viable member state of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), had ratified all the core conventions of the organisation guarding and promoting rights at work.
“In June 1998, a declaration was optimistically made by the ILO to establish a social minimum at the global level, to respond to the realities of globalisation,” Buhari said.
“Hence, the birth of the ILO declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work in 1998, and amended in 2022, as an expression by the tripartite body of the ILO-government-employers’ and workers’ organisations.
“This is to uphold basic human values regarded as vital to socio-economic lives by affirming to respect five broad categories of workers’ rights at work, embodying more than nine conventions.”
The president said the rights include freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour, and the effective abolition of child labour.
He said others are the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation and a safe and healthy working environment.