Buhari commends supportive role played by NURTW members during 2019 elections 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commended the significant role played by the members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in support of his re-election during the 2019 election.

President Buhari made this known on Thursday, as the Federal Government also acknowledged the invaluable contribution of the union to national development, saying that the union has provided employment for millions of Nigerian youths and fight poverty by providing loans to small and medium transport business operators across the country.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who delivered the President message said President Buhari appreciated the significant role played by the members of the union during the 2019 elections.

“Let me use this medium to convey Mr President appreciation for the supportive role the road transport union played in the 2019 general election,” the SGF was speaking at the 9th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), in Abuja.

He commended the leadership of the union led by Comrade Najeem Yasin, for changing the fortunes of the drivers, and urged the new executive to build on the successes of the outgoing executive.

The SGF, who was represented by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, said: “It is good that your union has followed the healthy part in changing the leadership at the national, zonal and local government levels without rancour.

“I wish to also acknowledge the enormous contribution of NURTW to our national development, especially in providing employment to our teeming youths, educating and chastising commercial drivers on safety and Organising orderliness and other activities in our motor parks across the country.

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“The union, I understand also fight poverty by providing loans to small and medium transport business operators. I am glad to inform you that government on its part is doing all that is necessary to give policy direction and guild lines as well as provide a conducive environment for the transport industry to smoothly operate and thrive.

“Buhari administration has invested so much in road construction and rehabilitation across the country. This effort is to reposition the transportation sector for inclusive socio-economic development, peace and security of the country.

“I want to assure you that this administration will continue to commit a reasonable chunk of our income in the formation of the safe, smooth world-class road network.

“I want to assure you that the present administration will continue to strengthen the unity of trade union, through constant consultation and collaboration.

“Let me use this medium to convey Mr President appreciation for the supportive role the road transport union played in the 2019 general election.”

The SGF enjoined the NURTW to partner with the Federal Road Safety Corps in ensuring that drivers obey road signs and regulations for the safety of all road users.

In his speech, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, expressed satisfaction with the level of peace and industrial harmony prevalent in the Road Transport sector, suggesting that the Union’s leadership had fully embraced the tenets of decent work, which include sustainable employment, rights at work, dialogue and workplace protection.

“These Key pillars of Decent Work are the bedrock of industrial peace and harmony”, he added.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, William Alo, Ngige pledged the Ministry’s continued support of the Union and solicited the deepening of relationship and cooperation between the two.

The Minister described the Transportation sector as critical for the efficient running of trade and investment within the country and across borders. “The Transportation sector is critical for the success of Nigeria’s economy and the NURTW is one of the key stakeholders driving the economic growth of the nation”, he added.

He encouraged the Union to always engage in social dialogue and collective bargaining to resolve disputes, as “the era of adversarial unionism has gone, and unions all over the world are now supporting and engaging the government to move their various countries forward.”

He congratulated the new national officers of the Union that would be elected and inaugurated in the course of the Conference and urged them to work together in harmony to achieve the goal of the Union for the interest of members and the country.

Also, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, acknowledged the significant role which NURTW had played and continued to play in the socio-economic affairs of the nation, particularly by enhancing trade and commercial activities.

He lauded the Union for acquitting itself creditably in spite of all odds and enjoined them to support the government, particularly in the fight against insecurity, by providing information to the government on criminal activities.

The Information Minister also gave the assurance of the Government’s continued support and provision of critical infrastructure to enable the Union to discharge its duties.

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