From Kayode Abdulazeez, Ilorin
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) vice president Comrade Issa Aremu have commission a mosque he built at NUJ Press Centre, along Offa road, Ilorin, in honour of her late wife Hajia Hamdalat Aremu.
The comrade seized the occasion to call on the wealthy people in society to always imbibed the habit of given to less-privileged, because that was what her late wife stood for during her life time. He also charged the government at all levels to take social protection more serious because it’s the best way to eradicate poverty in our society.
“Social protection is a set of policies and programs designed to prevent and reduce poverty and the race to the bottom and social anarchy. Social protection is a universal human right. Social protection includes benefits for unemployment, children, health, maternity, youths, students, old age, widows and widowers and the vulnerable in general. Nigerians, old and young, men and women now beg to pay to meet basic desperate hospital health challenges, students whose parents are unemployed beg to pay fees, and unemployed who resist criminality have turned destitute.”
According to him, “1999 constitution says the primary purpose of governance is the security and welfare of the citizens. Regrettably, out of the 4 billion people worldwide without social protection, significant number of them live in Africa mostly Nigeria. It is a sad commentary that relatively poorer countries like Mauritius, Lesotho, Namibia and Tanzania had achieved universal Contributory and non-Contributory pension schemes unlike Nigeria. All state and local governments must ensure pension converge for retirees. Also there must be minimum pension which should not be less than minimum wage.”
“Nigerian economy can only recover with citizenship social protection in eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, promoting economic growth and social justice, as well as achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nigeria and Nigerians do not need Ministries of Happiness. We need real and sustainable happiness though tangible benefits backed by laws and constitution. It is unacceptable that as low as only 10 per cent of mothers with newborns receive a maternity benefit, and million new mothers are not covered. Up till now Nigeria lacks legal unemployment benefits meaning that as many as 70 unemployed are either destitute or increasingly hardened reckless and daring criminals.”
In his speech Ilorin Emirate Descendant Progressive Union (IEDPU) chairman, Alhaji Abdulhamid Adi, expressed his happiness with the way and manner Comrade Issa Aremu immortalized her late wife Hajia Hamdalat Aremu and pray to almighty Allah to take reward of every rakat and prayer observed in the mosque to the deceased.
The chairman of Kwara State NUJ chapel comrade Abiodun Abdulkareem, thanked the fellow comrade for his Godly behaviour.