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Nigeria approaches ILO over Jobs Threat

Nigeria has sought the assistance of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in fending off threats against job security brought about by the global economic crisis. Disclosing this at a meeting with the ILO African Regional Director, Mr. Dan Charles , in Geneva , Nigeria’s Minister of Labour Chief Emeka Wogu said the country is faced with challenges arising from the global economic crisis which has led to wide-scale retrenchment.

Wogu also recounted recent efforts by the Nigerian government in attaining global best practice in the work place and notably the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP).

“We are faced with challenges arising from the worldwide economic crisis which has led to wide-scale retrenchment but the Nigerian government is desirous of keeping the jobs that already exists in as much as we want to get new jobs and we want you to assist us in that regards,” Wogu said.

The minister also disclosed fresh initiatives by government to promote women entrepreneurship and eliminate all forms of child labour.

Noting the ministry’s recent efforts to promote women entrepreneurship and eradicate all forms of child labour, he said:

“We want to promote women entrepreneurs because Nigeria is gender sensitive, we are almost there in terms of affirmative action and we want to take it down to the level of entrepreneurship by engaging women properly and it is also in that line that we want to re-launch the international programme on the Elimination of all forms of child labour.

“On my assumption as Minister of Labour I was mindful of forced child labour and other unfair labour practices which include but are not limited to discrimination at work places and illegal migration like trafficking in women and children.”

He listed the enactment of laws prohibiting child trafficking among other legal and institutional frameworks as part of government’s efforts against illegal trafficking.
Wogu also disclosed  government’s move to check unemployment through the establishment of a data base on unemployment

“A data base that will help in the collection of information on how many people are unemployed, how many people are employed, what are the job losses and what are the key performance indicators of the interventionist agencies which we have established in Nigeria to create jobs. “

Responding, Charles said the ILO was pleased to have been informed of  Wogu’s background in fiscal matters an area he said would enable the Minister tackle the issues relating to the global economic crisis.

He noted with concern that despite the efforts by the international community that the economic crisis was yet to reasonably abate and he as such called for further measures to check the impact on jobs.

While noting the ILO’s confidence on the Nigerian authorities, he nevertheless solicited further political commitments from Nigeria to enable the country tap into other programmes he said have been lined up by the ILO and its partners for Nigeria and Africa.