Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, has said that it has solicited the continued support and cooperation of ILO in the provision of decent work for Nigerians.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. William Alo, said Nigeria, as a pathfinder, had introduced innovations to decent work environment and maintained a harmonious relationship with its workers through responsive legislations in line with global best practices.
In a statement issued by the Assistant Director, Press, Iliya Rhoda Ishaku quoted Alo as having made the remark when he received in audience the ILO Country Director, Dr. Dennis Zulu and his team in his office, in Abuja.
Alo said: “ILO and the Ministry have had a long, robust and smooth relationship spanning a period of 60 years. The Ministry has benefitted from the relationship in many ways and that has made the country maintain her pride of place in the Comity of Nations on Labour issues”.
According to him, “We preach peace as well as good relationship to our workers which are key to increased productivity as no economy succeeds without enabling and peaceful environment for its employees”.
Earlier, in his remarks, the ILO Country Director, Dr. Dennis Zulu, said that the essence of his visit was to familiarise himself with the newly-posted Permanent Secretary and to intimate him of the existing programmes of ILO in collaboration with the Ministry.
He acknowledged that Nigeria was currently facing the challenge of unemployment, like other countries, and assured that ILO remained committed to supporting the Ministry in implementing the National Employment Policy aimed at reducing the number of unemployed youths in the country.
Zulu said ILO had been an important partner of the Ministry and pledged more collaboration with the Ministry towards achieving its mandate, “ILO has been working very closely with the Ministry since 1959 when the first ILO Office was opened on the continent in Lagos Nigeria.
“ILO is working with member states on Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP), a document that is prepared in collaboration with the Ministry, with the workers represented by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), and employers represented by the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA). DWCP states the priorities of collaborating for a fixed period of four years and we implement our support through this document. The programme that we had come to an end in 2018, and we will be expecting the Ministry to lead the process with our support of working on a new programme for the coming four years” he added.