The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. William Alo, has said that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a dependable partner of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Alo stated this when he received in audience the ILO Country Director, Dr. Dennis Zulu and his team in his office, in Abuja.
“ILO and the Ministry have had a long, robust and smooth relationship spanning a period of 60 years. The Ministry has benefitted from the relationship in many ways and that has made the country maintain her pride of place in the Comity of Nations on Labour issues. This has also gained the country the position of a member of the Governing Board of ILO, which is a testimony that Nigeria has paid its dues in respect of Labour issues”, Alo said.
Speaking further, the Permanent Secretary said Nigeria, as a pathfinder, has introduced innovations to decent work environment and maintained a harmonious relationship with its workers through responsive legislations in line with global best practices.
According to him, “We preach peace as well as good relationship to our workers which are key to increased productivity as no economy succeeds without enabling and peaceful environment for its employees”.
He then solicited the continued support and cooperation of ILO in the provision of decent work for Nigerians, and congratulated it on the forthcoming Centenary celebration of its existence and 60th anniversary of ILO in Nigeria.
Earlier, in his remarks, the ILO Country Director, Dr. Dennis Zulu, said that the essence of his visit was to familiarise himself with the newly-posted Permanent Secretary and to intimate him of the existing programmes of ILO in collaboration with the Ministry.
He acknowledged that Nigeria is currently facing the challenge of unemployment, like other countries, and assured that ILO remained committed to supporting the Ministry in implementing the National Employment Policy aimed at reducing the number of unemployed youths in the country.
Zulu said ILO has been an important partner of the Ministry and pledged more collaboration with the Ministry towards achieving its mandate, “ILO has been working very closely with the Ministry since 1959 when the first ILO Office was opened on the continent in Lagos Nigeria. This year is very important to us because ILO is not only commemorating 100 years globally but also celebrating 60years of ILO in Africa and Nigeria in particular”.
“ILO is working with member states on Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP), a document that is prepared in collaboration with the Ministry, with the workers represented by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), and employers represented by the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA). DWCP states the priorities of collaborating for a fixed period of four years and we implement our support through this document. The programme that we had came to an end in 2018, and we will be expecting the Ministry to lead the process with our support of working on a new programme for the coming four years” he added.
He disclosed that ILO would also be hosting a Global Youth Employment Forum, scheduled for August, 2019; a very important event with participants drawn from across the world, and for the first time the Director General of ILO would be coming to Nigeria to participate in the forum.
Zulu said efforts are ongoing to put in place the logistics needed for the events and requested for more collaboration with the Ministry for the success of the forth coming programmes.