Nigeria seeks technical support from ILO

Helen Shok Jok, Geneva

The Nigerian Government has requested the support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in institutional and capacity building, to ensure the attainment of decent work and sustainable development in the country.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, made the request on Wednesday, when he paid a courtesy visit on the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder in his office in Geneva, Switzerland.

The visit was on the side line of the ongoing 105th session of the International Labour Conference holding in Geneva.

“We want your assistance in the areas of technical cooperation; we want to ask for ILO’s support in terms of institutional and capacity building.

‘Others are the social dialogue institution, the negotiation council, the public and private sector, industrial arbitration panel, the National Industrial Court for Labour disputes and related issues.

We also want to see to the formularisation of the informal economy and labour-based technology for employment generation in our rural areas,” Dr. Ngige said.

The Minister explained that the  Government had on several occasions met with the ILO Deputy Director General of operations and the Deputy Director General for governance and tripartite on ways to move labour issues forward.

 “Most of these discussions were aimed at giving us technical assistance for us to move with the programmes that would move our country forward,” he stated.

Intensive programmes
Ngige said Nigeria would also require intensive programmes for labour officers and factory inspectors on enforcement of labour laws.

He noted that Nigeria planned to revive its Labour Advisory Council which had been dormant for over five years, in order to ensure industrial harmony in the country.

“We also want the labour body to assist the country with experts in labour laws to help in the review and easy passage of existing labour laws in the country.

“We want to also strengthen our child labour law and also carry out a lot of sensitisation on this issue.”

The minister said Nigeria was the first country to ratify the International Convention on Child Labour and also put in place a Child Labour Law.

He then urged the ILO to assist the country for effective implementation of the Child Labour Law in Nigeria.

He, however, renewed the government’s request for the ILO to upgrade its office in Nigeria to a multi disciplinary office while calling on the Director General to visit Nigeria

The Deputy Director General, Governance and Tripatism, Mr Moussaka Oumarou, said there was need to put more emphasis on training the trainers programme.

He said the ILO would do its best to assist Nigeria to get back factory inspectors and assist in other areas of need put forward by the Nigerian delegation.

On his part, the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, assured the Nigerian delegates that the organisation would assist Nigeria in whatever capacity it could.

Confidence O.