May Day: El-Rufai salutes, tasks workers on sacrifice, solidarity

As workers globally celebrate Workers’ Day on Saturday, Kaduna state government has praised their resilience in these difficult times, while calling for sober reflections on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on work and life.

Speaking in a statement issued from Sir Kashim Ibrahim House on the Workers’ Day celebrations on Friday, el-Rufai assured workers that the state government remains committed to strengthening the public service, by raising the capacity of its employees and improving their reward.

The statement signed by Special Adviser on Media and Communication to Governor el-Rufai, Muyiwa Adekeye noted that “this year’s May Day is being marked in circumstances that are most unusual for all categories of workers, be they in the public sector, the organised private sector and the vast informal sector.

“In this moment of emergency, Kaduna state government acknowledges with gratitude the hard work and dedication of our health workers and medical professionals in managing and containing Covid-19 in the state.

“The responsibility to protect the vast majority of residents from the danger of widespread community transmission of Covid-19 has compelled the extension of the Quarantine Orders in Kaduna state. But this government has also asked a team of senior officials to begin thinking and planning for a post-lockdown scenario in Kaduna state.

“Government is convinced that there is no tension between public safety and economic vitality. Rather both should be conceived as supportive of each other. That is why the lockdown has only been partial, to allow the operations of the most essential sectors,’’ he stated.

Adekeye explained that ‘’since the imposition of the Quarantine Orders on 26th March 2020, Kaduna state government has always permitted the food and agriculture value chain to function along with essential manufacturing and logistics businesses. As soon as  epidemiological evidence suggests that infection rates have dropped, the state will permit more economic actors to safely reopen their firms and businesses.

“Before we get to that point, present conditions require that people with an income undertake acts of sacrifice and solidarity to support those whose livelihoods are challenged by the lockdown. Government calls for the understanding of everyone, especially workers in the public sector, of the imperative of sacrifice and solidarity in this moment of emergency.

“Just as it demonstrated by swiftly implementing the new national minimum wage and increased the minimum pension received by retirees on the defined benefits scheme, the Kaduna state government remains committed to strengthening the public service, raising the capacity of its employees and improving their reward,’’ he maintained.”

The statement appealed to citizens “to uphold hope that together we can defeat Covid-19, return to some degree of normalcy and be able to commemorate May Day and other landmark dates with greater optimism.

“This requires the disciplined and consistent exercise of personal responsibility, which includes regular hand washing with soap and water, wearing of face masks when outside the home, observance of social distancing and avoidance of large gatherings.”

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