By AbdulFatai Beki
The newly appointed Director-General, Michael Imoudu National Institute of Labour Studies (MlNlLS), Ilorin, Comrade Issa Aremu has described President Muhammadu Buhari as the foremost labour friendly president Nigeria ever produced.
Aremu made the remarks a maiden address to the staff of the institute on his assumption of duty on Saturday night in Ilorin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Aremu became the fifth and first trade unionist to become the DG of the institute since its establishment in 1986.
According to Aremu, within the last six years of his administration, President Buhari has implemented several programmes that improved the wellbeing of Nigerian workers.
“President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the new minimum wage of N30,000 in 2019 in spite of the economic recession and COVID-19 locked down.
“In spite of the fall in oil price in the international market, the economic recession and pandemic issue, President Buhari has been paying workers’ salaries as at when due,’’ he said.
While describing Buhari as Comrade President, Aremu said he has never engaged in any mass sack at the federal level since the beginning of his tenure.
He lauded the magnanimity of the president for giving out bailouts to the 36 states governors to settle unpaid salaries of their workers.
“As a labour activist for the past 35 years and a global trade unionist, I am aware of how various presidents across the world handle labour matters.
“President Buhari comes first and followed by the late President Musa Yar’Adua and former Presidential Goodluck Jonathan,’’ he said.
The DG also praised the labour friendly attitude of the president for not arresting any labour leader or proscribing any labour union over agitations for improved condition of workers since assumption of office.
Aremu expressed gratitude to the President for appointing him and pledged to reposition the institute to regain its lost glory, as the only Labour institute in the African continent.
In his remark, the immediate past acting DG of the institute, Alhaji Ibrahim Akeyede urged the staff of the institute to cooperate with the new DG in his bid to reposition the institute.
NAN reports that the new DG was accompanied to the institute to resume duty by the representatives of the state chapter of NLC, Textile Union, Tailoring Union and his family members. (NAN)