By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) now has a new Director-General, the presidency announced on Tuesday.
A statement issued on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, in Abuja by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mrs Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim.
She was chosen to replace the present occupier of the position, Mrs Julie Okah-Donli, who has been in the position for a while and has taken the agency to enviable heights.
The presidency in the statement said the new head of NAPTIP was a Special Adviser on Strategic Communication to the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.
She was also until her new appointment a member of the Nasarawa State Economic Advisory Council and she is well-read.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim as the new Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
“A holder of BSc (Sociology), Masters of Arts (Management) and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degrees, Mrs Sulaiman-Ibrahim, hails from Nasarawa State.
“Until her new appointment, she was a member of the Nasarawa State Economic Advisory Council as well as Special Adviser on Strategic Communication to the Minister of State for Education,” Mr Shehu said in the brief statement.
NAPTIP was established in July 2003 by the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act 2003.
It is an agency of the federal government created to address the scourge of trafficking in persons in fulfilment of the country’s international obligation under the Trafficking in Persons Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Transnational Organized Crime Convention (UNTOC).
The Trafficking in Persons Act 2003 was an outcome of a private member bill sponsored at the National Assembly by the Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF), a non-governmental organisation founded by Mrs Amina Titi Atiku Abubakar, the wife of the Vice-President of Nigeria at that time.
The key functions of the agency include to enforce and administer the provisions of the act; co-ordinate and enforce all other laws on trafficking in persons and related offences; and adopt effective measures for the prevention and eradication of trafficking in persons and related offences.
Others include to establish co-ordinated preventive, regulatory and investigatory machinery geared towards the eradication of trafficking in persons; investigate all cases of trafficking in persons including forced labour, child labour, forced prostitution, exploitative labour and other forms of exploitation, slavery and slavery-like activities, bonded labour, removal of organs, illegal smuggling of migrants, sale and purchase of persons; and create public enlightenment and awareness through seminars, workshops, publications, radio and television programmes and other means aimed at educating the public on the dangers of trafficking in persons.
Nigeria Ratifies ILO Convention on Violence, Harassment in Workplace
By Adedapo Adesanya
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Instrument of Ratification for ILO Convention No.190 on Violence and Harassment.
Convention No. 190 is the first international labour standard to address violence and harassment in workplace. Together with Recommendation No. 206, it provides a common framework for action and a unique opportunity to shape a future of work based on dignity and respect.
These instruments will be key to achieving the objectives set by the ILO Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work, adopted in 2019, which clearly commits to a world of work free from violence and harassment.
Following his assent, the document is set to be deposited with the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Ms Kachollom Daju, confirmed this at the opening ceremony of a 2-day Regional Sensitization Workshop on ILO Convention No. 190 on Violence and Harassment and Eliminating Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the Workplace for Professional Officers in the three Northern Geo-Political Zones.
Ms Daju noted that Nigeria is the fourth country in Africa and the eighth in the world to ratify the convention, adding that the ministry has already inserted prohibitions on violence and harassment, including sexual harassment, in the just concluded review exercise of the National Labour Bills.
She stated that the ratification comes with an enormous responsibility and reporting obligation for Nigeria. She called on labour officers in the states to put their best foot forward as they must implement, intercept and intervene in all cases of violence and harassment and other related unfair labour practices in all workplaces after the convention is domesticated.
“The Ministry’s Headquarters will also depend on you to generate and gather data that will be used to develop a comprehensive First Report of Nigeria’s implementation of the Convention to the ILO when the time comes,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary appreciated the ILO Regional Office in Abuja, and the International Labour Office, Geneva, for providing the technical support for the workshop and for its support in ensuring that Nigeria’s Labour Administration System operates in line with international best practices.
On her part, the Director, Productivity Measurement and Labour Standards, Mrs Juliana A. Adebambo, said that to facilitate wide spread and acceptance of the Convention, the Ministry, with technical support from the ILO, had convened a series of preliminary activities across the six Geo-Political zones in the country and the 2-day workshop was first in the lineup.
The opening Ceremony had in attendance very important dignitaries, including the Country Director of the ILO office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Mrs Vanessa Lerato Phala.
The convention affirms that everyone has the right to a world of work free from violence and harassment. It also provides for the first internationally agreed definition of violence and harassment in the world of work.
Reps Seek to Penalise Employers for Late Payment of Salaries, Pensions
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A bill to prohibit late payment of salaries, pensions and other emoluments of workers has passed the second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill is titled A Bill for an Act to prohibit late payment of Workers’ Wages, Pension and Other Emolument in Nigeria and Prescribes penalties for Violation; and Related Matters. It was sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, and scaled the second reading during plenary on Tuesday in Abuja.
Upon securing the second reading, the piece of legislation was referred straight to the Committee of the Whole for consideration, as no member opposed it.
Mr Gbajabiamila said there are varying penalties for offenders, including a term of imprisonment of up to one month.
For instance, an employer, who delays payment of salaries for a duration of one to seven days, will be liable to pay 10 per cent of one month’s pay to the employee; for eight to 30 days (20 per cent of the month’s pay); 30 to 60 days (30 per cent of one month’s pay); and 60 days/above (30 per cent of one month’s pay) plus improvement for one month.
The lawmaker disclosed that the bill wants to ensure the timely remuneration of employees, whether in the public or private sector. It also aims to prohibit the withholding of payment due to employees by employers in the guise of using the same to cover the cost of employee negligence.
In addition, it wants transparency of contracts between employers and employees and prescribes penalties against employers for violations of the provisions of this bill.
Furthermore, the bill, when passed into law, will provide compensation for employees and improve the general welfare conditions of employment for labour in Nigeria.
The Prospects for Tech Career in the Future
By Otori Emmanuel
Technology’s capacity to foster growth and development is more apparent than ever. In that, the influence of technology cannot be overstated, from streamlining routine tasks to creating ground-breaking solutions. Technology has been extensively adopted throughout generations, and there is still an expectancy for it to meet future needs.
A growing demand for qualified technologists exists due to how prevalent technology has become. According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2021 to 2031, it is anticipated that overall employment in computer and information technology occupations would increase by 15%, substantially faster than the average for all occupations. This increase is anticipated to result in the creation of around 682,800 new jobs during the decade.
Many are putting in a lot of effort to maintain their position in the future and avoid becoming obsolete. This involves continuing personal training through online learning resources, giving back to the community, participating in tech forums, and attending conferences that expose one to the various facets of the tech industry.
Gap in the Industry
However, there is now competition across industries for these abilities as a result of the demand for tech skills. To keep the sector prospering, the technology skill gap caused by this competition needs to be closed. With the development of new technologies, workers’ contributions have been affected by the move toward machine learning, robotic engineering, artificial intelligence, cloud services, and decentralized operations.
The difference between what people can do and what employers expect them to be able to do is known as the skills gap. If an employee just knows how to program, yet a technology job role requires knowledge of both internet networking and a programming language, there is a skills gap. Due to this gap, businesses find it challenging to fill open positions. The employee can get better at this by developing the talent they lack.
Therefore, in order to supply services effectively, these new concepts must be acquired and mastered. Many tech professionals have been compelled to learn new ideas, hone their already-existing talents, and take on more difficult tasks to advance their careers because not all of them are knowledgeable in these new tech disciplines.
Tech industry benefits to Individuals
Due to the numerous benefits offered to employees, such as competitive pay, flexible work schedules, health insurance, skill development, paid parental leave, and job security, the tech industry is still enticing. Hence, many people have transitioned into IT from non-technical backgrounds.
Nowadays, many people do online training and obtain certifications to equip them with the knowledge they need to thrive in their employment. This is being done now to protect the future, even though it was rarely done in the past. Others have pursued their interests while working for tech companies without necessarily being “in IT”. The ease of entrance into the tech industry offers insight into how the industry is changing. Many IT experts are willing to work remotely from their homes.
Skills for the Future
Currently, hard skills and Soft skills are two basic skills essential to delivering maximum performance in the tech industry. Hard skills are frequently knowledge-based talents that are exclusive to particular professions, whereas soft skills are frequent and value-based skills that are not connected to particular employment.
Hard skills include, among others:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Machine Learning (ML)
- Data science
- Data analytics
- Data visualisation
- User Interface/Experience (UI/UX)
- Software engineering
- Cloud computing
- Internet of things (IoT)
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Technical research and writing
Several Soft skills include;
- Communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Team player skills
- Mentorship skills
- Work Ethic
- Networking skills etc.
Future skills are those abilities that empower people to solve tough problems when situations evolve yet in an organised manner. It comprises hard skills, soft skills, transferable skills and other innovative skills. These abilities are essential for the coordination of formal activities. Some are innate that need to be cultured, while others can be formed through a learning process. They include; Creativity, Decision making and good judgment, Digital literacy and Computational thinking, Cognitive thinking, Collaboration, Management, Cultural intelligence, Financial Intelligence, Emotional intelligence, Automation etc.
In addition to one’s primary training, these abilities are necessary for working in multi-functional teams. Not every skill must be mastered to succeed.
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