Government committed to peaceful industrial relations – Labour minister

Helen Shok Jok. Abuja.

Labour minister, Dr. Chris Ngige

The Nigerian government says it is determined to promote peaceful and harmonious industrial relations by ensuring labour-enhanced services in the country.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said this while declaring open a two-day Conference of Zonal Directors of Labour, State Coordinators of Labour, Resident Labour Desk Officers and Directorate Officers Cadre in the Ministry.

The theme of the conference is: “Improving Labour Enforcement Services in Nigeria: The Role of Labour and Factory Officers.”

He said that the government would continue with its efforts to re-position the nation’s economy with minimal work disruption through the promotion of  harmonious industrial relations.

“As part of the current administration’s efforts to re-position the economy and make it investors’ destination, President Muhammadu Buhari declared the Ministry of Labour as one of the front line economic Ministries.

“The desire of Mr President is to have an economy with minimal work disruptions, peaceful and harmonious industrial relations as well as very skilled manpower.

“To this end, the Ministry is being strengthened to respond positively and nip in the bud any threats to peace and industrial harmony in the place of work,” he said.

The Minister called on officers of the Ministry to re-double their efforts at work place inspections as professional Labour and Factory Officers.

“I call on you all to redouble your efforts in workplace inspections in order to sustain and surpass the relative industrial peace enjoyed in these past two years.

“ I call on everyone here today to use the opportunity this conference offers to evaluate our past, identify our successes and challenges.

“ Look into our present resources and set measurable targets toward achieving safety workplace and Sustainable Development Goals,” the Minister said.

The conference was organised to address some strategic issues in the field offices of the labour administration in the country.

Ngige added that the four Regional Labour Offices had since developed into 6 Zonal Offices, 37 States (FCT inclusive), Labour Offices and 23 District Labour Offices.

He also announced that Zonal, State and District Labour Offices were receiving facelift nationwide and that negotiation were ongoing with International Developmental partners on mutual cooperation.

Dr Clement Illoh, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, advised  participants to pay adequate attention as issues bedeviling their stations would be discussed and solutions proffered.

He stressed that Labour policy implementation lies more on officers in the Zonal, State and District offices.

Mr Dennis Zulu, the Country Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Nigeria, enjoined participants to be abreast of emerging trends in the labour circle.

Zulu advised them to pursue the full implementation of all labour policies to make Nigeria one of the biggest economies in 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.