FG Sends 15 Obsolete Labour Laws to NASS for Review

April 29, 2017

By Dipo Olowookere

At least 15 obsolete and retrogressive labour laws, some of which date back to the colonial era, have been sent to the National Assembly for review.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, at a function on Friday in Algiers, Algeria.

The Minister, according to a statement issued by the Deputy Director of Press in the Ministry, Mr Samuel Olowookere, explained that these laws were forwarded for review as part of concerted efforts to increase access to decent work to Nigerians through the implementation of National Policy on Employment whose document was reviewed in 2016.

He said further that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was irrevocably committed to growing the economy through strategic initiatives that engage the nation’s huge population as a fulcrum.

According to him, the recently released Medium Term Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) was a paradigm shift in this direction.

“The present administration in Nigeria has demonstrated its capacity to exploit our huge population for wealth creation and economic growth.

This explains the capacity shown so far for an early exit from recession. Our shift is the engagement of our large population in well-articulated diversification programme which has shifted attention to agriculture and mining, in a process intended to be driven by diverse skills acquisition and subsequent job creation,” Mr Ngige was quoted in the statement as saying.

Presenting Nigeria’s position in an address entitled ‘Investment In Employment and Social security For Harnessing Demographic Dividend’ at the on-going 2nd Ordinary Session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment in Algiers, Algeria, the Minister said Nigeria was resolute in exploiting the untapped potentials of huge   population to grow the economy through dynamic micro-economic policies.

“The focus of the present administration in Nigeria is to invest in our huge population through massive job creation, youth empowerment, social inclusion and strengthening of our educational and health system so as to achieve macro-economic stability and diversification.

“This is a pathway to building a global competitive economy that can stimulate private sector investments, infrastructural renewal, a major pathway to spend out of recession and improved business environment,” Mr Ngige said.

The Minister enumerated other government efforts towards exploiting Nigeria’s huge population for jobs and skills development to include a nation-wide stop-gap jobs for unskilled persons through interventionist schemes in agriculture and mining, skills development and competency upgrade, reduction of miss-match between graduate skills and demands in modern labour market as well as the N-power programme, noting that women constitute a large percent  of the beneficiaries of these different programmes.

On Social security, the Minister said that beyond a National Policy on Social Protection and Social Security which was conceived to drive universal human rights, inclusiveness and wealth re-distribution, the National Social Insurance Trust Fund, the National Health Insurance Scheme, Pension Commission and National Social Investment Programmes were core government agencies effectively providing social protection for vulnerable persons within their respective purviews.

Earlier in his address, the Algerian Prime Minister, Abdelmalek Sellal lauded the theme of the conference which he said tallied with the objectives of the Africa Union as well as the aspiration of individual African governments to stimulate the economy of the continent through massive job creation with the youth population as the fulcrum. He said a stable African economy which subsists on diverse and sustainable job opportunities would stem brain drain, illegal migration, criminality and violent crimes, factors he said, impacted negatively on African labour force.

He however added that the future of labour in the continent would be brighter should leaders go beyond lip service to tripartite dialogue in labour administration.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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