ILO calls for strong coordination to effect the National Employment Policy of Nigeria

Putting employment at the core of the country’s budgetary policy and integrating employment goals in the national development frameworks are essential tools to implement the NEP, says ILO.

News | 27 October 2016
ABUJA (ILO News) - The Director of the ILO Country Office, Abuja, Mr Dennis Zulu, has called on its constituents and other major stakeholders to demonstrate commitment in the implementation of the new National Employment Policy (NEP) of Nigeria.

Mr Zulu made this statement during the NEP validation workshop organized by Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, through the financial and technical support of the ILO.

The workshop which was organized on 27 October 2016 to validate the reviewed draft National Employment Policy (NEP) was attended by various federal government ministries, departments and agencies, representatives of employers and workers organizations, academia and other key stakeholders.

At the workshop, two international consultants presented the reviewed draft of the National Employment Policy to ensure that it reflected input and contributions from various social partners and other stakeholders.

The Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Abuja Country Office, Mr Denis Zulu, stated that the ILO was honoured to have been involved with the process from the very beginning and remained committed to working with the government, social partners and other stakeholders to ensure the implementation of the policy.

According to Mr. Zulu, “a possible first step towards implementing the policy will be to integrate employment goals and targets in national development frameworks’. This, according to him, would need to be supported by multi-component and coordinated employment approach, negotiated by tripartite constituents and integrated in the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) and United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). He emphasized the need for institutional coordination, effective accountability system, and pro-employment budgeting that puts employment at the core of national budgetary policy.

Addressing unemployment and underemployment

In his Keynote address, the Hon Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator (Dr.) Chris Nwabueze Ngige (OON) commended the International labour organization (ILO), Abuja Country Office, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and other key stakeholders including Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Academia, youth representatives and Non-governmental organizations for comments received from them.

According to the Honourable Minister, considering the rising numbers of unemployment and underemployment in Nigeria and poverty level, there was a dire need for an urgent and comprehensive approach to address the problem of unemployment and underemployment at all levels.

He stated that the promotion of gainful employment has become imperative for eradication of poverty and social exclusion in Nigeria.

According to the minister, government will continue to rely on the continued cooperation of all stakeholders to reverse the unemployment trend in Nigeria. He appealed for the continuous understanding and cooperation of employers, workers and other stakeholders in the face of the difficult times in the annals of Nigeria’s history.

In their various comments and remarks, the representatives of NECA, NLC, TUC, and other stakeholders appreciated the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment for spearheading the review of the National Employment Policy and the ILO for its financial and technical support.

While validating and recommending the draft policy to the government for approval, the workshop participants observed that the policy will act as the road map which will guide Nigeria in the creation of decent and sustainable employment.

They agreed that the policy has addressed issues of underemployment and unemployment as well as the importance of education, the need for an enabling business environment, importance of vocational skills and the need for an efficient public service.