ILO praises Nigeria’s commitment to tripartism, social dialogue

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has praised Nigeria for its unprecedented commitment to tripartism, social dialogue and decent work.

The ILO Director General, Mr Gilbert Houngbo, made the commendation when he received the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, at the weekend in Geneva, Switzerland.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Olajide Oshundun, the Director of Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The minister was in Geneva to attend his last Governing Body meeting of the ILO.

Ngige however presented to the ILO boss, two instruments comprising conventions 1975 (143) on Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention and Convention 1997 (181) on Private Employment Agencies, which Nigeria ratified.

Houngbo, while receiving the conventions, said he noted the renewed passion and commitment which the Nigerian government had given to tripartism, social dialogue and decent work in the past few years.

According to him, this is making it possible to ratify four conventions in a year.

“I recall that Nigeria’s Minister was here in November 2022, to deposit two ratified instruments – Conventions 2006 C (187) on Promotional framework for occupational safety and Health, and 2019 C (190) on Violence and Harassment.

“Also, in less than five months, the nation has ratified and deposited two additional conventions. That is quite commendable,” Houngbo said.

The ILO boss also noted the contributions of Nigeria’s Minister of Labour to the Governing Body and the Congress since 2016, while describing him as “knowledgeable and industrious”.

“He has been a great voice in the Governing Body and we will appreciate if he keeps in touch with the ILO even after his present tenure as Nigeria’s Minister.”

Earlier, Ngige while depositing the ratified Conventions C143 and C181, said they are critical in widening employment net and decent job in the world of work.

He also noted that the conventions would reinforce Nigeria’s capacity and enhance cooperation with other countries in protecting migrant workers through ethical recruitment.

“These conventions will enhance remittance flow and optimise the benefits of organised labour migration in our country.

“It will go further to reinforce our ability to enter into Bilateral Labour Agreement (BLA) or Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with destination countries who have ratified the same Convention,” Ngige said.

The minister added that the ratification of these conventions were painstakingly put together, passing through the deliberative crucible of stakeholder dialogue as well as workshop.

He said that this was to properly align them with relevant national laws and policies, including the Labour Act CAP LI, National Policy on Labour Migration, National Employment Policy as well as National Migration Policy.

“In due diligence and legislative scrutiny, we ensured that these two ratified conventions are in tune with the International Labour Migration Division and National Electronic Labour Exchange (ILMD/NELEX) to manage organised labour migration in and out of the country.

“They are also in line with our objectives in establishing Job Centres and Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) to promote employment services and safe migration in Nigeria.

“In November 2022, when I deposited two conventions ratified by Nigeria, I did not hint the Director General that we had about four others still in the mills.

“I kept it close to chest that we will soon bring them after ratification. Today, we have two of these ratified instruments, signed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari,” the minister added.

Also at the event, the ILO Regional Director for Africa, Nigeria’s Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, praised Buhari for hosting the Global Youth Employment Forum in Abuja in 2019.

She urged the next administration to take such continental project notches higher in view of the bulge in youth population and unemployment.