Labour ministry moves to avert incessant industrial crisis


By Ukpono Ukpong

The Federal Government has begun moves to avert strikes by organised labour, through resuscitation of the Registrar of Trade Union Workshops.

To this end, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment engaged the Registrar of Trade Unions to acquaint them on issues affecting labour administration in the country, and how to manage unfair labour practices amongst other issues in the world of work.

The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Labour, Daju Kachollom who spoke at the 6th edition of the workshop in Abuja, applauded the enthusiasm shown by participants to ensure a healthy industrial climate in Nigeria.

While noting the need for a repositioning of the nation’s labour administration system to achieve effective socio-economic development, Kachollom added that labour administration was key to national development everywhere in the world.

She said: “Effective and efficient conflict resolution mechanisms remain the only panacea for sustaining national growth and development. Regrettably, since 2019, the Workshop has not been convened until now. The resuscitation of this programme, therefore, is predicated on the determination and commitment of the Ministry to constantly strengthen the Labour Administration System in Nigeria.

“The essence of this Workshop therefore, amongst others, is to acquaint participants with current trends and contemporary issues affecting Labour Administration in Nigeria, and its implication for sustainable development.

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“Furthermore, the Workshop will equip participants with the knowledge, skills, and expertise to efficiently manage trade union affairs, workplace disputes, jurisdictional scope dynamics, and unfair labor practices. It will also prepare stakeholders on how to handle the current challenges faced in the world of work, as well as how to harness the opportunities presented by the future of work in Nigeria.

“Fundamental thematic Labour Administration concepts and principles such as Social Dialogue, Negotiation, and Collective Bargaining as tools for shaping the Future of Work, improving organizational productivity and workers’ welfare will be discussed. Additionally, carefully selected experts in the labour sector will be driving discussions on Innovative and Creative Economic Growth Plans and policies, Trade Union Administration, as well as Adjudication Processes of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) concerning Jurisdictional Scope issues.

“These education and empowerment workshops convened annually are essential ingredients for the development of a well-informed workforce which in turn contributes to good governance and the overall reduction in the number of industrial disputes in our workplaces.

“Thus, as change agents and promoters of productivity. enhancement, it is clear that the fundamental objectives of decent work and harmonious industrial relations cannot be achieved without your contributions as key actors of the labour movement in this great country.”

Director General Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) Mr. Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, noted that with a projection of a substantial increase of approximately 450 million people in Africa’s working-age population of 15 to 64 between 2020 and 2035, there was a need to create an environment that fosters gainful employment, promotes inclusivity, and harnesses the potential of youths.

Represented by Femi Paul, he added that given statistics by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that the youth unemployment rate in Nigeria would reach 40.6% by the end of 2023, all hands must be on deck to equip the youth population with the necessary skills, foster entrepreneurship, and create an enabling business ecosystem that supports job creation.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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