Nigeria tasks ILO on developmental challenges in Africa

Helen Shok Jok, Geneva

Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, called on the ILO to take cognizance of the peculiar historical and developmental challenges in Africa in combating poverty and insecurity.

Dr Ngige made the call while addressing more than 5,000 delegates from the 187 member states at the ongoing 105th International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

He also urged the International Labour Organisation to acknowledge the multi-ethnic and cultural diversities of member nations in the course of policies formulation and project development.

He spoke against the backdrop of the various challenges affecting member nations which are often not uniform in nature given peculiar domestic laws.

“It is pertinent to note that in the race for development, the developing countries have peculiar historical and developmental challenges. There is therefore an urgent need to take cognisance of these characteristics in combating poverty and insecurity.

Notably, the poor implementation of the ILO Decent Work Agenda in these economies has no doubt attributed to this ever increasing phenomenon and largely accounts for their inability to compete in the process of globalization,” Ngige said.

According to the Minister, ILO needs to put these factors into consideration in assessing the responsibilities and opportunities associated with the implementation of the future of work initiative.

“Furthermore, the multi-ethnic and cultural diversities including different political structures and systems of member states should be acknowledged in the development of policies, projects and programmes aimed at addressing the attainment of the sustainable development goals,” he added.

While speaking on current situation in Nigeria, Ngige said that the nation was not insulated from challenges that are daily manifesting in the socio-economic crises.

He noted that the current challenges in the country were not unconnected with what he called “the historical neglect” of past administrations to address the consequences of a mono-product economy that have depended on the revenue from crude oil.

Strategic Role
The minister said that the title of the ILO report, tagged, “The End of Poverty Initiative: The ILO and the 2030 Agenda,” captured the increasing challenges confronting humanity.

He also noted the strategic and pivotal role the ILO was using in line with its tripartite structure with other United Nations Agencies to achieve the goals.

“We therefore commend the theme of the conference report mostly in its appreciation and explanation of the current global realities in the world of work and the suggested approaches for a better tomorrow.

“In this vein, the need for the international community to properly situate the objective of the 2030 Agenda aimed at sustainable global Development becomes more compelling than ever before”, he added.

The International Labour Conference ILC sets broad policies of the ILO and meets annually in Geneva, Switzerland.

The ILC also known as the annual “World Parliament of the Labour brings together more than 5,000 government, worker and employer delegates from the ILO’s 187 member states.