The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has elected Nigeria as a regular member of its Governing Board, according to a statement Mr Charles Akpan, Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
ILO has 187 member states: 186 out of 193 UN member states plus the Cook Islands.
Akpan said the election was held on June 14, at the on-going virtual 109th Session of the ILO’s conference in Geneva.
He said that Nigeria was elected to the apex leadership organ of the organisation alongside other African countries – Cameroon, Eswatini (commonly known as Swaziland), Morocco, Rwanda and Uganda, in a keenly contested election.
“Nigeria will serve till 2024,’’ Akpan stated.
He added that Nigeria had also served as deputy or titular from June 2017, from where she was elected the chair of the Governing Board of the ILO in 2019.
According to Akpan, this is the 11th time that Nigeria is elected for quality representation of the African Region at the ILO.
“In this new position, Nigeria will be able to chair various Governing Board sessions and committees, oversee adoption of decisions usually by consensus, as well as amendments of minutes and records of proceedings,
“Others are adoption of reports of various committees, including the reports of regional meetings and other ILO sectorial meetings.
“The country will also be meeting with the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, prior to each Governing Board session to discuss matters related to the region and proffer way forward.
“This assures of accelerated flow of technical assistance and support by the ILO, including training and capacity building opportunities, nomination into global fora, technical meetings and supervisory organs of the ILO,’’ he stated.
Akpan recalled that while serving as deputy, Nigeria was nominated as the chair of the entire Government Group of the ILO and held the position from June 2019 to 2020.
He added that during the difficult COVID-19 lockdown, Nigeria was able to coordinate the affairs of the Government Group under the chairperson of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige.
He said that the minister successfully handed over to new co-chairs, Panama and Chile.
“Nigeria has, through her leadership and parliamentary experience, successfully represented the African region in pressing and pushing through amendments of ILO regional rules for meetings.
“The adoption of the amendments cleared the ambiguity on composition of participants of member states at regional meetings.
“This was a rare achievement that was not envisaged in the nearest century as colonial influence on some African member states permitted colonial masters to interfere, particularly in Africa’s regional meetings,’’ Akpan stressed.