By Shola Akingboye, 2nd April 2021
The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, Tony Ojukuwu Esq has admonished Nigerian workers that entrenching human rights principles into labour practices in various workplaces and amongst labour unions in the country has become inevitable and sacrosanct for industrial harmony.
Ojukwu, in a statement made available by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs of the Commission, Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, reiterate this as Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate the 2021 International Workers Day, says this will enhance sustainable industrial harmony, improved productivity and efficient service delivery.
He observed that mainstreaming human rights in the operations of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as in the private sector, holds the key to job satisfaction and increased productivity.
“It is in this connection that the Commission has continued to train and retrain the law enforcement personnel, labour force in the MDAs and workers in the private sector to understand and appreciate the need to deploy and mainstream human rights principles and norms while carrying out their official duties”, he stated.
On the other hand, Ojukwu urged the Nigerian workers both in the public and private sector not to renege on their own responsibility of delivering quality and efficient services to justify the trust and confidence reposed in them by their employers.
On the issue of welfare of workers, the NHRC Scribe stated that demand for improvement in the welfare packages of the workforce is a legitimate human response in the light of current challenges facing the workforce, adding that where the resources are not immediately available to address such demands, it behoves on the workers to show understanding while pushing for their demands. He enjoined the government and employers of labour to always try to pay just wages that can address the basic needs of workers for industrial peace and harmony.
The NHRC Boss used the opportunity to commiserate with the families of those who lost their relations in the line of duty as a result of hazards associated with their occupation or from natural causes, saying that “we must as a matter of necessity remember them whenever we mark Worker’s Day, given their sacrifices and contributions to nation building”..
The Executive Secretary further stated that the current COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in the death of many people across the globe, seriously affected workers especially health workers including Doctors and Nurses. “This calls for comprehensive life insurance policies for Nigerian workers to mitigate the burden of such casualties on any affected family” he added