Ngige: FG to Prioritise Job Creation

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige
  • Atiku, Lawan, Gbajabiamila, APC, PDP hail workers on May Day

Deji Elumoye, Chuks Okocha, Onyebuchi Ezigbo, Adedayo Akinwale and Udora Orizu in Abuja

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has assured Nigerian workers of the federal government’s resolve to give priority attention to job creation and workers welfare in its strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

This is coming as former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have hailed the workers on the occasion of today’s May Day.

Ngige, in a solidarity message sent to workers to mark this year’s May Day celebration, said the federal government is considering four – pronged policy responses to COVID-19 crisis as laid out by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

He disclosed that talks are currently ongoing between the Presidential Economic Sustainability Council (PESC) and employers of workers on the need for job protection during this period and in the post COVID-19 crisis.

“In this regard, the government and social partners would have a look at the four – pillar plan of policy responses to COVID-19 crisis as laid out by the ILO, which are intended to be human-centered and built on global solidarity. This would be in addition to the federal government’s evolving plan of action to sustain the economy in the context of current global crisis,” he said

The minister noted that all relevant factors to the nation’s workforce would be identified, “analysed, and solidified to ensure job retention and the continued realisation of the decent work agenda.

“In doing this, we will be guided by the labour standards as benchmarks for social and employment protection at this time of vulnerabilities.

“Along this line, talks are currently ongoing between the PESC and employers on job protection, and even job creation, at this time and progressively to post COVID-19 crisis.

“I wish to state that employers will not be encouraged to disengage staff without prerequisite social dialogue and clearance from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment,” he said.

Ngige also used the opportunity to praise the patriotic efforts of the country’s health workers, especially those in the front line of the campaign against COVID-19 outbreak.

On his part, Gbajabiamila, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Lanre Lasisi, commended Nigerian workers for their commitment and dedication to work over the years, noting that whatever achievements that were recorded in the past must be sustained and improved upon.

Lawan also felicitated with Nigerian workers as they join their counterparts all over the world to mark the workers’ day.

He congratulated Nigerian workers for sustaining the heroic struggle for the liberation of the country from poverty and underdevelopment even in the face of the daunting challenges at their various work places.

The main opposition party, the PDP has also saluted Nigerian workers, describing them as the life force of the nation.

The party commended Nigerian workers for their sacrifices towards the wellbeing of the nation, particularly at this critical time, when many of them are on the front line against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

According to a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the party commended the resilience of workers in the health and other essential services, who have continued to exhibit unequalled patriotism despite the daunting challenges in the efforts to mitigate the health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic, adding that these citizens were indeed the country’s national heroes.

On its part, the APC has also commended what the ruling party described as the tireless efforts, resilience, patience and commitment of the Nigerian workers in the onerous task of nation building.

The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr. Lanre Issa-Onilu, gave the commendation in a statement he issued yesterday in commemoration of the 2020 International Workers’ Day.

He noted that the 2020 International Workers’ Day came at a time the world is combating the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has kept economies across the world locked down.