President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday intervened in the impasse between the Federal Government and the organised labour over the minimum wage for workers in the country.
He appealed to the labour unions, especially the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to consider what his administration inherited from the previous governments.
The President explained that the present government was doing more with the ‘fewer resources’ at its disposal in putting the nation’s economy right.
He made the remarks when he received members of the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) led by Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
President Buhari reassured Nigerians that his administration would sustain the massive investments to upgrade and develop the country’s transport and power infrastructure.
He, however, said Nigerians would never forget the “lost opportunity between 1999 and 2015,” when the nation had huge resources at its disposal.
“There is no part of the country I haven’t been to, having attempted to be President four times,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
The President added, “I know the condition of our roads. The rails were literally killed; there was no power despite the admittance of some previous leadership that they spent $16 billion on the sector.
“Today, we are getting our priorities right and we believe that of the three fundamental issues we campaigned on – security, the economy and fighting corruption –; we have remained very relevant and Nigerians believe we have achieved something.”
President Buhari also used the occasion to appreciate the People’s Republic of China for financing some of the rail and power projects in the country through concessionary loans.
“I will do my best to see that where there are possibilities of making a quick improvement on infrastructure, we will do it,” he assured the ARCAN members.
The President took note of some concerns raised by the retired ambassadors such as an appeal for the adjustment of their pension entitlements and retention of diplomatic passport for retired career ambassadors.
Other issues raised include allocation of land for ARCAN headquarters in Abuja and adequate funding of the Foreign Affairs ministry, among others.