Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The federal government has begun the process of reviewing extant national policy on occupational safety and health that has been in place since 2006.
Addressing a stakeholders’ consultative meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said the aim of the review was to improve on the occupational safety and health performance nationwide.
He said the stakeholders’ meeting would lead to the eventual validation of the draft policy framework on occupational safety and health in the country.
Ngige, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Williams Alo, said the federal government is committed to accommodating stakeholders’ interests in the spirit of enlarged social dialogue.
“This is expected to yield a well-coordinated and synergised national system of occupational safety and health that is based on statutorily-defined mandates devoid of overlaps and unhealthy rivalry, coordinated by an established statutory authority and driven towards a robust development of national preventive occupational safety and health culture,” he said.
He said the draft policy on occupational safety and health seeks to harmonise workers’ rights protection within regional and international standards in a private sector-led economic growth.
The Director ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Dennis Zulu, said the apex labour body is committed to working with the government, employers’ organisations, trade unions and other relevant stakeholders to design and implement effective sectoral and enterprise level occupational safety and health policies and programmes.
“The ILO is therefore delighted to be a part of this discussion with a view to ensuring the safety and health of the Nigerian workforce,” he said.