The world celebrated the International Worker’s Day on May 1. Nigeria was not left out of the celebration even though it had nothing worthy of celebration. Most of the workers leave civil service corridors without being giving pension, gratuity and any form of recognition.
The welfare of the civil servants is no longer on the government front page, as most workers regret being in the system as keeps deteriorating every day.
Government owes workers several months’ salaries, while many states can’t pay the minimum wage; non payment of arrears, hazard allowances, research grants, among others, are issues of concern also.
Nigerian civil servants suffer the most compared to their counterparts around the globe. It’s only in Nigeria that one can serve up to the retirement age without having an abode while being denied any form of enjoyment from the fruit of his/her labour. Half of the retired civil servants in Nigeria haven’t been paid their pension and gratuity several years after their retirement.
On this basis, many civil servants cannot afford to send their wards to school and have the needed three square meals, because what they are earning per month is not enough for them to cater for their needs; after settling power, hospital, water bills, and schools fees, the whole money will be exhausted.
The system is full of corruption and favouritism where the top officials are given priority over the juniors when in reality the juniors work tirelessly and harder. It’s only the top government officials that are enjoying the system not those at lower levels.
I don’t think we are in the right state to celebrate the International Worker’s Day because the world out there celebrates the day in honour of those who work to ensure the development of their nations not those who stole the nation’s wealth.
Furthermore, they celebrate the day so as to celebrate, congratulate and give award to the hardworking ones, and to know the areas that need to be improved in the system. In Nigeria, no matter the development or success one can bring to the system no one will celebrate him/her talk less of being given an award.
The whole system needs to be fixed; our ministries are not conducive, no furniture, no power supply, among others. So instead of wasting time to celebrate what is not worthy of celebration, it will be better if more attention will be given in fixing the system and increase the salaries of the workers.
It will be of great importance if the state governors will start paying the minimum wage, hazard allowance, arrears, research grant, among others, as doing so can provide the solution and also add value to the system and the workers instead of celebrating the day.
Amrah Ja’oji Abdullahi,
Department of Mass Communication,
University of MaiduguriNo tags for this post.