The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, believes the Federal Government deserves to be applauded by the Nigerian workers.
According to him, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has been able to manage the welfare of workers in the country better than other administrations.
“Many people will not remember very quickly,” the minister said in an interview with Channels Television on the last edition of Roadmap 2019.
He explained further, “In the military government, at a time, there was an embargo on employment; even embargo on promotions. When people go, the vacancies are there and the monies are returned to the coffers of the government.”
“We are not doing so and I thought Nigerian workers should be clapping for us for that. We are promoting them (workers) as we speak; we are replacing those who have left,” Ngige added.
“In fact, when people leave on high grades, we do what is called suppression and get more (people) on the lower grades. The Presidency doesn’t want anybody to be laid off; this President.”
According to the minister, President Muhammadu Buhari is very concerned about the welfare of workers because he was part of them, as a soldier.
“No embargo on employment,” he insisted, stressing that government was recruiting more workers and replacing those who left for one reason or the other.
According to him, the Buhari administration has recruited 30,000 policemen and thousands of workers into various parastatals of the government.
Senator Ngige added that the government came up with various interventions such as the National Social Investment Programme, to improve the standard of living of the people.
He also pointed out the N-Power scheme for 500,000 young Nigerians whom he said were receiving N30,000 monthly and N5,000 for equipment.
He said traders were not left out of the benefits from the government as they enjoy small-scale empowerment under the interest-free loan scheme among others.
On the issue of minimum wage, the minister said, “It’s in the exclusive list; exclusive legislative list.”
“It is the Federal Government that will legislate on it. I am hopeful that we can do something that we can call National Minimum Wage Act, 2018,” Ngige said.