Nigeria Restates Call for Full Democratisation of ILO


Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Nigeria has again called for the full democratisation of the International Labour Organisation(ILO) so as to ensure full, equal and democratic participation of the member-states in its governance.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige made the appeal in an address at the virtual meeting of the Tripartite Working Group of the ILO Governing Board, during which a comprehensive report on democratisation of ILO governance was presented.

Aligning Nigeria with the Africa’s position which Ethiopia presented, Ngige noted that the long history of democratisation of the ILO featured in the amendment of its constitution in 1986, with the subsequent call for the ratification of the amendment instrument.

He however regretted that the amendments were yet to take effect after more than three decades they were initiated, due to reservations by some member-states against its ratification.

The minister further noted that the Centenary Declaration in 2019 provided another opportunity to revisit the democratisation , hence the setting up of a Tripartite Working Group co-cheered by Nigeria and Switzerland.

“My delegation commends the Working Group and the cooperation of members for successfully guiding focus discussion and dialogue on its mandate. The identification and deliberation of major impediments to the ratification by some member states in the constitution is both instructive and commendable .

“The outcome of the discussion, which enjoyed majority support culminated in the submission of the conference resolution for recommendation to the 109thsession of the ILC for adoption.

“The unrelenting push for the ratification of the amendments will send a clear signal about our collective resolve to work the talk in building an inclusive world class assembly for all member states.”

He also called for the extension of the lifespan of the Tripartite Working Group to enable it to fully achieve its objectives.

“ Nigeria is optimistic that the expected threshold for entering into force of the instrument of ratification will be achieved if the life span of the Tripartite Working Group is extended for another twelve months.”

The minister expressed Nigeria’s happiness that six additional countries have adopted the ratification since the centenary declaration in 2019.

“We acknowledge the Republic of Moldova, Spain and Somalia for joining the list and strongly appeal to the remaining nine countries, including members of the chief industrial importance to make our centenary aspiration a reality by registering their ratification.”

He expressed Nigeria’s willingness as co-chair to cooperate and support member states who have challenges in ratifying the instrument, adding that he was confident the group would have made significant progress in getting more members ratify the amendments before the oncoming 343 session of the ILO governing body in November 2021.

“We encourage the office to continue its promotional campaign for ratification of the instrument by member states,” he added.

Nigeria had taken the lead in push for the full democratization of the ILO when at the 331 session of the Governing Board in November 2017, Africa Ministers came up with a single agenda of total elimination of the vestiges of colonialism in ILO and nominated Ngige to lead the charge.