Nigerian government to implement three new policies

Timothy Choji, Abuja

R-L; Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the FEC Meeting in the Council Chambers, State House Abuja.

Nigeria is set to implement three polices that will enhance the livelihood of citizens of the country in many facets.

This follows the approval of the policies by the Federal Executive Council at its Wednesday’s meeting, which was chaired by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

The policies include the National Social Protection Policy, the National Employment Policy and the Nigerian Petroleum Policy.

Briefing State House Correspondents after the meeting, Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said the policy on social protection would promote equity and inclusive growth among Nigerian citizens, in order to alleviate poverty.

R-L; Minister of Mines and Steel, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu and Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung during the FEC Meeting at the Council Chambers, State House Abuja. 

“The Policy is a framework which seeks to provide social justice, equity and inclusive growth, using a transformative mechanism for mitigating poverty and unemployment in Nigeria,” she stated.

The Minister noted that all the social investment programmes currently being implemented by the Muhammadu Buhari administration originated from the draft document of the policy.

She added that the policy was largely inspirational and wanted to ensure that every Nigerian citizen had at least the minimum of what is required for human development and protection.

Petroleum Policy

Her counterpart in the Petroleum Ministry, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, who spoke on the National Petroleum Policy, noted that the policy was similar to the national policy on gas, which was considered few weeks ago.

He said the new policy was aimed at achieving the country’s plan of exiting the importation of petroleum products by the year 2019.

R-L; Acting President Yemi Osinbajo chats with Minister of Health Prof Isaac Adewole and Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu shortly after the FEC Meeting at the Council Chambers, State House Abuja.

“Today’s document focused on oil and the imperatives for change in policy in the oil sector one of the components is ensuring that we are working assiduously to exit the importation of petroleum products in 2019, it captures the fact of the cash call changes that we have done which is enabling the sector to fund itself substantially through incremental volumes,” the Minister explained.

Dr Kachikwu added that the policy captured the planned reorganizations in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation NNPC, to enhance efficiency and accountability.

He added that the policy encompasses issues of development in the Niger-Delta region, to ensure consistency and stability in oil production.

The Minister said the last time a similar document was produced was in 2007 and the current administration had to review the sector, in line with the dynamics of the oil sector, which has changed dramatically.

Employment Policy

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who also briefed journalists, announced the approval of a National Employment Policy, which is an improvement on the policy in use, which was produced in 2002 and is now obsolete.

R-L; Acting President Yemi Osinbajo chats with Minister of Labour and Employment Sen Chris Ngige shortly after the FEC Meeting at the Council Chambers, State House Abuja.

“Today too, FEC approved the National Employment Policy, to guide this government. The employment policy we have been operating in Nigeria was approved in 2002, which is 14 years old and within those years; a lot of things have changed in the labour and employment industry and market,” he said.

Giving details of the new policy, the Labour Minister said it provides for decent working programmes and environment as well as employment of people with disabilities and other aspects that are contemporary in the labour market.

He said the review of the document started in 2013 with technical assistance form the International Labour Organization and the major stakeholders in the sector.

On the proposed minimum wage for workers, Dr Ngige said: “On the issue of the minimum wage, since FEC approved the composition of the National Minimum Wage committee in May, we have gone into action to appoint the government representatives; the secretariat will be domiciled in the National Income and Wages Commission, with the Chairman of the Commission serving a s Secretary of the technical committee. We also have the Minister of Labour and Employment as Deputy Chairman, the Minister of Finance, Minster of Budget and National Planning, as members.”

He, however, said the only appointee that is being awaited on the government’s side is the Chairman of the technical committee, adding that the processes for nomination have been concluded but awaiting the requisite approval.