Abuja (ILO News): The tripartite Partners of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Nigeria have commended the organization for all its support in the development of Nigeria. In their speeches at the celebration of the ILO centenary across the world and 60 years of ILO in Africa, the speakers alluded to the various supports of the ILO over the years that have contributed to the progress made so far by Nigeria.
The event which took place at Transcorp Hilton on 7th May 2019 witnessed a large turn of ILO partners – Government of Nigeria, represented by Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment); Employers, represented by Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA); Nigerian workers represented by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC). Others participants were other Ministries, Department and Agencies of the Government, Diplomatic community, Non-Governmental Organizations amongst others.
In his opening remarks, the Director of the ILO Country Office, Abuja, Mr. Dennis Zulu, expressed his delight that the ILO Centenary coincided with the celebration of 60 years of the ILO in Africa with its first African Office in Nigeria. Tracing the history of the ILO, he observed that the ILO had contributed immensely to the achievement of social justice through labour standards, development of policies and formulation of programmes that promote decent work for all. He acknowledged that the unique tripartite governing structure of the ILO has helped the partners to address issues through social dialogue.
He observed that the ILO, with cooperation of the tripartite partners have achieved a lot. He affirmed that the ILO was committed to working with its member states including Nigeria in the quest for a better future. He paid gratitude to the Government of Nigeria, Employers and Workers for their collaboration with the ILO over the years and look forward to a more strengthened partnership in the next segment of journey.
While setting the tone for the discussion, one of the discussants itemized findings on ILO’s developmental support to Nigeria into 5 parts: (a) Nigerian development trajectory over the years (b) Impacts of ILO conventions and standards ratified and domesticated in Nigeria (c) ILO projects targeted at unemployment, skill development, migration and human trafficking, among others (d) ILO efforts at strengthening Tripartism and support for Institutional development, and (e) Key actions and basic results of the ILO in Nigeria.
Some of the achievements of the ILO noted in the discussions include development and implementation of different development frameworks, formulation of various policies, codes of conduct and action plans, capacity building and training of Nigerians and institutions, institutional establishment and support. The discussions were concluded with the assertion that while the last 60 years of ILO in Nigeria has been very eventful and impactful on the Nigeria socio-economic development, the next decades would definitely throw up more challenges in view of the changing world of works, insecurity, high unemployment, increasing poverty and income-inequality. These situations call for concerted efforts not only from ILO and other UN agencies but also from the constituent partners namely Government, Employment and Workers. It was emphasized that it was through such synergy that the scarce resources available for developmental purposes in Nigeria could be transparently managed and judiciously utilized.
The Director-General of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) congratulated the ILO on its centenary and observed that besides other achievements, the ILO has contributed immensely in the areas of fraternity and peace among nations, decent work and justice for workers, technical assistance to critical stakeholders, expansion of social protection and by proactively preparing the world for tomorrow through thematic issues like future of work.
Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress expressed their gratitude to the ILO for all the support given to their organizations and Nigeria at large. They urged member nations to strive towards improving gains of the ILO across the world. They also appealed to the ILO to do more in Nigeria in the area of skills and entrepreneurship training for Nigerian Youth in order to reduce the menace of unemployment.
In his key note address read by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. William Alo, the Honourble Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, congratulated the ILO for the milestone achievements for which all partners were delighted to be associated with.
He observed that the ILO over the years had offered and was still offering unmatched expertise and knowledge about the world of work, thereby responding to the needs of its tripartite constituents for decent work, necessary for improved livelihoods and the enthronement of sustainable development. According to the Minister, decent work was fundamental to sustainable development. He posited that the importance of decent work in achieving sustainable development was highlighted by Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals which aims to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”
He reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to walk with the ILO side by side into another century. He congratulated the ILO, the Nigerian government and all the partners even as “we continue this journey”.