The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, says the Federal Government has commenced the review of the nation’s Labour Laws to meet what obtains globally.
Ngige made this known while receiving a delegation led by Mrs. Kathleen FitzGbbon, Deputy Chief Mission, the U.S in Nigeria, during a visit on Thursday in Abuja. He said the review was necessary for the line with the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). “We are amending our laws to become contemporaneous with what obtains globally. We have done a Labour Law review.
“We will send it to parliament. ILO is assisting us. But, we are doing what we can with our small resources,” Ngige said. The minister said the Federal Government had done so much in the labour sector, especially in the areas of occupational safety and health. He said the Occupational Safety and Health Department in the ministry had engaged in labour inspections to ensure that working places conform to decent work standards.
“We also have two types of insurance for workers. We have insurance against death, which is called Group Life Insurance. “We also have Employee Compensation Act, by which a worker is insured against any accident, injuries, and death that may occur in the course of work. ‘This is an agency of this ministry, which is Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) that is managing it,” he said.
Ngige added that a steering committee had been set up for the elimination of child trafficking and slave labour, with its secretariat domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. He said Nigeria has a Child Labour Policy, noting that efforts were being made to bring on board, a new Action Plan to replace the Action Plan that expired in 2017 before COVID-19 interfered. “So, we are hoping that by next year, we shall launch it. We will do so after the validation.
“We also have the National Steering Committee on Elimination of Child Labour and in the various 36 states. We have the state committees,” the minister said. He said the government had also followed the educational enticement approach through the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme to ensure free Primary and Junior Secondary School. He, however, called for assistance from the U.S Government toward equipping the schools for technical education.
Ngige further solicited technical and logistics assistance from the U.S Government, saying that the ministry lacked enough resources to carry out its mandate. Earlier, FitzGbbon said her delegation came for information from the ministry for their end of year report on what Nigeria was doing on the elimination of Trafficking in Persons and Child Labour. She said the visit was also to find out the kind of aid that Nigeria needed in combating these menaces before reviewing its policy on Nigeria on the two issues.