Nigeria Seeks Technical Support For Capacity Building

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ILO Director General, Gilbert Houngbo (left) and Nigerian Labour Minister, Simon Lalong (right).

Abuja, Nigeria – Mediaage NG News – Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Bako Lalong has requested for more technical support and collaboration in areas of capacity building to enable the Nigerian government meet its objective providing job opportunities and improved workers welfare.

Lalong, while meeting with the Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Gilbert Houngbo during the 349th Session of the ILO Governing Body in Geneva, Switzerland, said Nigeria has done a lot to guarantee the rights of workers and enable unions to thrive in protecting the rights of their members.

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He said the President Bola Tinubu led government places high premium on the contributions of workers to the growth of the country. “It in turn impacts on the global economy”, he said.

While revealing that the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda has clearly outlined the roadpmap for improving the conditions of workers as shown in recent wage increase and other policies resulting from the removal of fuel subsidy, Mr. Along said the government is determined to create job opportunities for its teeming unemployed and under-employed youths who are a major source of strength for the nation.

On Government-Labour relations, the Minister said the Government has maintained an open door policy in dialogue and implementing collective bargaining with unions for peaceful industrial relations.

The Minister made some requests: “The ILO may wish to consider Nigeria’s earlier request for the ILO to upgrade the ILO Office in Abuja to the status of a Technical Office (Decent Work Office) to serve English speaking West Africa; to assist in strengthening the Labour Inspectorate System in Nigeria by providing technical assistance by building the capacity of Professional Officers in the Ministry and providing working tools; Technical Assistance to see the process of reviewing Nigeria’s National Labour Bills to a logical conclusion; as the second highest African contributor to the ILO budget (next to South Africa), more Nigerian professionals be employed into the ILO to bridge the under-representation of Nigeria in the ILO workforce, both locally and internationally” he said.

ILO Director General Gilbert Houngbo welcomed the Minister to ILO Headquarters and emphasized the significant role Nigeria continues to play in building a robust work environment through consultation and engagement with the labour.

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He acknowledged the efforts of Nigeria in complying with the Conventions and instruments of the ILO which it is Signatory to and said the organisation will continue to work with the government to strengthen areas that require attention.

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