The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) says it will collaborate with the International Labour Organisation(ILO) on laws to regulate COVID-19 claims and compensations.
Mrs Nkiru Ogunnaike, NSITF General Manager, Claims and Compensation, while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the regulation would be to registered employers, employees and their dependents.
“We all know about the COVID-19, which we are still trying to come out from and which has actually posed a lot of issues across the world and not just Nigeria alone.
“This is in terms of processing claims and emanating claims from people who said they have COVID-19.
“We know that under the Employees Compensation Scheme, if you get injured in the cause of work, on your way to work, way back from work or in the working place, you will be covered under the scheme.
“Also, in terms of where you get injured, disabled, occupational diseases or if death occurred in the cause of work.
“Now with COVID-19, it is difficult to establish where a worker has contracted the pandemic. So, in processing such a claim, how will you ascertain whether it occurred in the cause of work or not,” she said.
Ogunnaike said that the NSITF was in touch with the ILO and also understudying other countries on ways to ascertain how it would be established that COVID-19 occurred in the cause of work.
She pointed out that another scenario was the new work life across the nation or even across the world which was, ”work from home”.
According to her, NSITF has received number of cases from people who said they got injured while working from home.
“This has been difficult because we are having many of such cases and we know that the world is going digital and work from home has come to stay.
“So, how can you establish that this person got injured while he or she is working from home and not a domestic accident.
“We are talking to ILO, to see if the other countries are having such challenges, it is a new norm and it is here to stay and certainly we will come up with laws that will regulate this”, she said.
The general manager also further said that there were lots of claims that concerned road traffic accidents in the country.
“Most of our claims are road traffic accident or death of people who are travelling on their way to work; or on their way back from work. Though they are covered when they get injured or die as a result of that.
“We are collaborating the police and other para-military agencies to help keep the road safe, where people can travel to work and back.
“I think more collaboration with those agencies can help curb these heavy claims ,’’she added.(
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says it will continue to support Nigeria in strengthening Labour Migration Governance in the country.
The ILO Country Director to Nigeria, Vanessa Phala, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
Phala said the ILO was collaborating with the Ministry of Labour and Employment and other social partners in improving Labour migration governance for the protection and promotion of rights of migrant workers.
She said that currently the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers had risen to 169 million that constituted nearly five per cent of the global labour market.
According to Phala, “there is a lot of work that we are doing with our social partners; this is in terms of providing service to potential detainee migrant workers.
“Our collaboration is mainly in improving overall Labour Migration Policy that will be beneficial to migrant workers.
“In this regard, ILO recognises the legitimate human and labour right only when it is done within the confines of established laws and procedures and works also in consonance with the International Labour Standards.
“This is in order to protect and to promote the rights of all migrant workers, especially women”, she said.
She added that migration was an increasingly important policy issue as economic hardship and geo-political crises were leading to lack of decent work, resulting to growing diverse migratory movements.
Phala, however, said ILO had been supporting Nigeria with the legislation at the national level and in the revision of the Nation Policy on Labour Migration.
According to her, this policy provides the framework on how to manage labour migration.
“We are also working to strengthen the capacity of the migrant’s resource centres, this is in order to provide advice and support the potential detainee migrants.
“We are promoting fair recruitment practices, protecting migrant workers rights and also advancing labour migrants’ data and statistics; basically, it is trying to make available information that will empower the detainees.
“It also empowers us to see the opportunities for them, to advance their economic situation in the country,’’ Phala said. (www.nanews.ng)
As part of its mandate to provide capacity building for local officials to improve the delivery of equitable social services, UN-Habitat and its partners provided training to dozens of local officials this month.
The five-day training for 97 mayors and deputy mayors was conducted under the Joint Program on Local Governance and Decentralization (JPLG) in partnership with the Somaliland Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Local Leadership Management (LLM) training was delivered in Hargeisa, Burao and Borama, three separate districts of Somaliland. The goal is to make local governments effective subnational structures that can provide basic social services.
“This training provided a detailed description of the key functions of an elected local councillor. These included policy development, financial management, conflict resolution, community empowerment, and institutional development, to name a few. The training is primarily intended for elected local councilors and key municipal staff,” said Abdirahman Mahmoud, UN-Habitat, JPLG Program Manager.
Somaliland Home Minister Mohamed Kahin Ahmed, who officially opened the training in Hargeisa, urged participants to take advantage of the training and use that experience, knowledge and skills to accelerate better services for the citizens they serve.
“In addition to capacity building, this training provides a platform for sharing experiences by bringing almost all local councilors in Somaliland together in one room,” he said.
Hargeisa Mayor Abdikarim Ahmed Mooge also challenged the participants to be vigilant and learn as the task of municipalities is a new experience for most of the elected councillors, while thanking UN-Habitat and JPLG for continuously equip new officials who take up municipal papers.
“From this training, I learned some of my responsibilities as an elected councilman; coordinate and support the creation of an environment conducive to development and sustained economic growth, said Mr. Mohamed Hirsi Ahmed, councilor of the Buroa local council.
“It is also my job, and that of my colleagues in local elected councils, to plan, provide and improve equitable access to social services and infrastructure,” he added.
The program is executed jointly by UN-Habitat, UNDP, UNICEF, ILO and UNCDF and is funded by Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the EU.
The Federal Government has called for a safe and healthy working environment and conditions, especially in the informal sector, for the protection of both employees and employers.
Ms Kachollom Daju, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, made the call while declaring open the Stakeholders’ Workshop on the validation of action checklist on strengthening the capacity of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Abuja.
Daju was represented by Director, Occupational Safety and Health in the ministry, Mrs Lauretta Adogu.
The workshop was organised to produce high-quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Healthcare-related products.
According to her, a safe and healthy workplace will not only provide protection against injury and illness, but also enhance productivity, which will ultimately lead to increased national economic growth.
”The Nigerian economy is grown largely by MSMEs, with about 80 per cent of employments in the informal sector, thus the need to radically improve the nation’s safety and health culture, to minimise work-related accidents and diseases.
”The checklist would assist MSMEs in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic by assessing the risk to the enterprise and ensuring that the workplace is prepared for any future epidemic, ” she said.
Daju said that the Federal Government, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and other social partners have been working together to strengthen the capacity of MSMEs.
She added that this would as well raise awareness on workplace prevention of COVID-19, and measures to ensure safety and health at work, with particular focus on the production of PPE and healthcare-related products.
The Permanent Secretary urged the stakeholders to employ their professional and technical skills in deliberating on the checklist.
She urged them to bring it in conformity with international best practices, and to help the MSMEs minimise work-related accidents and diseases.
She noted that inputs from the validation meeting of stakeholders would add optimal value to the overall performance of National Occupational Safety and Health Management System in Nigeria.
Earlier, the ILO Country Director, Ms Vanessa Phala, said that the Action Checklist on OSH would support enterprises in building a culture of safety and health at work.
According to her, using illustrations adapted to the Nigerian context, the checklist provides an easy-to-use tool for MSMEs to review their operations in a number of priority areas, including the prevention of COVID-19.
She added that following the negative impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs globally, Nigeria and the United Nations system devised a project aimed at strengthening the capacity of local MSMEs and manufacturers, to produce high quality PPEs and healthcare related products.
She stated that the project had been working with about 174 local MSMEs across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria, promoting safety and health at work among those and other enterprises.
Stakeholders at the workshop include Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
Others are the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has trained 30 journalists on labour migration, using its media toolkit. The National Project Coordinator, Mr Austin Erameh, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday that the workshop which held in was focused on using toolkit in reporting forced labour and fair recruitment. NAN reports that the participants were drew from jouirnalists, Civil Society Organisations and government officials. Erameh said that in 2020 ILO launched a global “Media Toolkit on Forced Labour and Fair Recruitment“ in order to contribute to quality reportage by journalists in that area. He said the toolkit has an accompanying media-friendly glossary on migration and provides concrete tips for improving media story ideas to promote production of quality reporting on forced labour and fair recruitment issues. According to him, the ILO in Nigeria started the adaptation of the toolkit in 2020 and facilitated a presentation of the draft document to integrate stakeholders’ feedback. “We are training the participants to be able to use the adapted toolkit more effectively. “We hope the training will really be impactful on the capacity of media organisations in Benin and the South-South region so that they are able to track media stories, report more accurately and effectively labour migration stories.” he said. On his part, Mr Tunde Salman, a co-facilitator of the workshop, disclosed that Benin was a deliberate choice for the workshop because of the participation of residents in the subject matter. Salman, also a consultant to ILO on adaptation of media toolkit, said that the workshop would also give journalists the opportunity to participate effectively and accurately in migration reportage. A participant, Mr Lucky Ighomuaye, said reporting labour migration, using ILO’s media toolkit, indicated that when reporting on a situation of forced labour the solution of freeing the workers would be the desired outcome. Another participant, Mr Franklin Aideloje, who is a researcher, said from the lLO toolkit, he learnt that migration was a right. He said that a person was free, both legally and morally, to travel to any destination of his choice and not through irregular means. According to him, from the toolkit the issue of labour migration has become an urgent and compelling concern to the state. He said that organisations involved in labour recruitment must be discouraged from making false promises to those they want to recruit. NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Federal Government has applauded the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for its continued support to Nigeria in labour administration.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ms Kachollom Daju, gave the commendation at a meeting between the ILO Country Director, Ms Vanessa Phala and her team, and the management of the ministry on Tuesday in Abuja.
She made this known in a statement signed by Mr Olajide Oshundun, Head, Press and Public Relations in the ministry.
Daju noted that over the years, the ILO had lent support to Nigeria in the review of the National Labour Bill and the resuscitation of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC).
She said also in the processes towards the ratification of ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment, 2019 and ILO Convention 187 on the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health, 2006.
According to her, other areas ILO had supported Nigeria include campaign and advocacy to combat Child Labour, and training on report writing skill on Ratified and Unratified Conventions and Recommendations.
Daju, however, called for the continued support of ILO, especially in the area of Nigeria’s medium term national development plan.
Earlier, the ILO Country Director, Ms Vanessa Phala, said that the meeting was to interface with the ministry on joint projects, and areas of mutual interest.
Phala added that the meeting would afford the parties the opportunity to review their respective activities and progress.
By Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, ILO (www.ILO.org) Assistant Director-General, Regional Director for Africa
“We must not wait for development to end child labour. On the contrary, ending child labor is key to sustainable development.” says ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa, Cynthia Samuel Olonjuwon.
With 92 million girls and boys in child labour, one in five children, Africa is the most affected region in the world. The elimination of child labor worldwide will not be achieved without a breakthrough here.
This is not justifiable. Children have the right not to work. Children trapped in child labor today are tomorrow's unskilled labor force. Ending child labor is key to sustainable development. Urgent action to end child labor must be seen as an investment in the future.
Is there hope of ending this situation? Absolutely! As ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said, “Optimism depends on political will. You don't have to be a dreamer to be an optimist. You have to have good reasons to be optimistic.” In Africa, we have 92 million reasons to be optimistic about ending child labour.
So what should be done?
The recently concluded 5th World Conference on the Elimination of Child Labor (www.5thChildLabourConf.org) in South Africa reiterated the need to focus on prevention. This is particularly true of Africa, a young continent with a rapidly growing population. If we don't act now, we should expect 105 million children to be in child labor in Africa by 2025, which will only get worse in the years to come.
It is essential to address the root causes of child labor in our continent. These include: lack of access to free, quality education; high levels of poverty and vulnerability of households; limited decent work opportunities for parents and youth, as well as very high levels of informality and inequalities. In Africa, four out of five child laborers live in rural areas and work in agriculture, a sector where workers are often functionally dependent on unpaid child labour. In addition, Africa is one of the regions most affected by crises linked to conflicts and disasters, as well as climate change.
The Durban Call to Action (https://bit.ly/3HaSUmB) calls for more action in six key areas to address these root causes, including: the need to ensure free, quality education, for promote decent jobs for young people and adults and the need to invest in social protection as a means of reducing poverty and vulnerability.
This year, on the World Day for the Elimination of Child Labor (https://bit.ly/3zs03Nv), I would like to focus on the critical importance of social protection in ending child labor in Africa.
Exposure to shocks (sudden job loss or illness or injury to family members) increases a child's chances of working. Social protection reduces vulnerabilities and empowers communities by ensuring that children attend and stay in school, and that parents have the income to support their development and education. A recently published ILO-UNICEF report (https://bit.ly/3Qg0nER) shows that social protection reduces child labor and facilitates schooling.
There are regions in the world where child labor has been reduced over time. Some countries have been more successful in reducing child poverty and increasing levels of social protection for children and their families. However, Africa faces a double challenge compared to other continents. It is the continent with the highest prevalence and highest number of children in child labor and the lowest social protection coverage. In Africa, 83% of the population does not have any type of social protection. Similarly, within Africa: West, Central and East Africa are the three subregions with the highest proportion of children in child labor and also have the lowest social protection coverage.
Universal social protection and the elimination of child labor are priorities on the regional agenda of the African Union, governments, workers' and employers' organizations, the ILO and other development partners. In Africa, anchored in the 2019 Abidjan Declaration, the ILO aims to accelerate social protection coverage to reach 40% by 2025, especially for informal and rural populations.
We see emerging models of interventions designed to simultaneously contribute to improving social protection coverage and ending child labour. In Côte d'Ivoire, for example, the ILO supports the National Health Insurance Fund to extend universal health coverage to small farmers working in cocoa. Through a supply chain approach, the existing sourcing and operational structure of the value chain is used as an alternative distribution channel, increasing access to services and improving the customer experience.
Cooperatives and their business partners have supported the National Health Insurance Fund in organizing awareness and membership campaigns, as well as in exploring financing strategies to cover the payment of contributions. The model also focuses on the provision of quality services by health service providers at the community level, building trust and reducing reluctance.
As a result, 1,815 small cocoa farmers have signed up for the universal health coverage plan and received a social security number. This is just the beginning. The model is now being replicated in other districts of Côte d'Ivoire with the support of various private sector companies. Furthermore, this African good practice is being adapted and replicated in two other African countries, Ghana and Nigeria. Working closely with other development partners, models like this are being scaled up as a crucial part of the implementation of the Africa Regional Social Protection Strategy 2021-2025.
By demonstrating high-level political will and innovative intervention models indigenous to Africa, our continent sends a strong message to the world: we are aware of the challenge, we are working on it as a matter of priority, and as a region, we are driving change.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has appealed to the Federal Government to compel state governors owing the National Minimum Wage to implement it without further delay. The NLC President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, made the appeal at the ongoing 110 Session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Saturday. Wabba was giving an update on issues that affected Nigerian workers to the ILO Committee on Experts, on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that once a country has ratified an ILO Convention, it is required to report regularly on the measures it has taken for its implementation. Wabba said four states out of the 36 have yet to commence or implement the National Minimum Wage since 2019 when the Federal Government began implementation of the wage in the country. According to him, the minimum wage is a law and a convention that the Nigerian government has ratified. “In 2019, the minimum wage was enacted, but as I speak, four states have not implemented it and they are Taraba, Zamfara, Cross River, and Abia. “They have not commenced the implementation of the minimum wage and this is an infraction of the law. “So, under the convention, the Nigerian government has the obligation to compel those states to implement this very important convention because we have ratified it ,’’ he said. Wabba said under the ILO constitutional requirements, Nigeria as a country must report progress so far made on the important convention, as a result of the Committee of Experts. He noted that the four states had violated the law and had also violated the convention. “Nigerian government needs to call them to order and ask them to implement the National Minimum Wage for workers in those states,’’ he said. (NAN)
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called for increased investment in social protection systems and schemes to establish solid social protection floors to protect children from child labour.
The ILO Director-General made the call on Saturday to mark the 2022 World Day Against Child Labour at the ongoing 110th Session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
This year’s theme is titled: “Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour” and the day will be marked on June 12.
Ryder said that the fight against child labour was truly at the crossroads, in spite of significant effort made to reduce it.
According Ryder, the choices made by governments now will make or break the lives of millions of children.
“Social protection is one of the most powerful measures to prevent child labour and providing families with income security in difficult times.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put millions at risk due to rising poverty, inequality and school closures.
“But without decisive countermeasures taken by governments, the number of children in child labour could rise by almost nine million to 169 million this year.
“Social protection is one of the most powerful measures to prevent child labour providing families with income security in difficult times,” he said.
The ILO boss said that ensuring universal access to social protection was an integral part of the“Durban Call to Action”, adopted during the conference.
He said the call was essential to help construct a path towards a world free of child labour and the attainment of universal social protection as reflected in SDG Target 1.3.
According to Ryder, that universe social protection is particularly powerful when coverage stretches across the life cycle, from child maternity and family benefits to unemployment support, old age pensions and healthcare.
“Structure like this can help families cope with economic or health shocks without having to put their children into child labour.
“What policymakers need to do is to create social protection systems that reach all children, and in particular, those more vulnerable to child labour,” he said.
He said that these systems needed to be put in place alongside to ensure decent work for adults and quality education for all children.
“Yes, this will require investment, but countries will reap the benefits of a fully educated and skilled workforce.
“The choices that governments make now will make or break the lives of millions of children today and in the future,’’ Ryder said.
The Nigeria Government has called for support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said this at the ongoing 110th session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday in Abuja.
Ngige was responding to the report of the Director-General of the ILO, Mr Guy Ryder.
Ngige, represented by Daju Kachollom, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the support was imperative due to the current state of growing inequality gap.
“We consider that the achievement of the SDGs by 2030 is at a great risk.
“If the goal of “not leaving any one behind” is ever to be realized, urgent effort, support and contribution will be required by all in a renewed commitment to multilateralism and international cooperation,’’ he said.
He said the report of the Director-General on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – Crisis, structural transformation and the Future of Work was appropriate for the debate.
He said that this was in view of the multiple implications of current global challenges.
He said the analysis of the character and challenges of the labour markets index of the 46 LDCs raise some concerns.
According to him, this is especially in the light of the impact and slow recovery progress of many economies after the pandemic.
“ The volume of job losses and the established link between social justice and global peace should provoke honest debate at this conference.
“The wave of insecurity, terrorism, food scarcity, rising cost of energy, impact of COVID-19, among others should challenge our common humanity and shared international relations.
“These are consummate recipes for global socio-economic disruption and widening inequality,’’ he said.
The minister added that the ripple effect of the deteriorating situation in these 45 LDCs was capable of eroding the gains of the developing and developed economies.
“Our response should go beyond statistics and rhetoric to plans which will stimulate economic activities to generate decent jobs for the teeming unemployed youths who yearn for dignified life,’’he said.
According to Ngige, Nigeria has over the years upheld the four pillars of the Decent Work Agenda as well as the Strategic Objectives of the ILO.
“This is by implementing different transformative Agenda and Visions to structurally transform and improve its economic productive capacities and outputs.
“This ultimately, is a bit to move the country on the path of sustainable development and economic growth,’’Ngige said.
He noted that currently the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP) of 2017 to 2020 is being rolled into National Development Plan 2021-2025.
He said that this takes into cognisance achievements from preceding activities, programmes and projects with well defined key performance indicators as guide.
“We have entrepreneurial programmes and projects in the agricultural sector through various loan schemes that have created volumes of decent jobs.
“We also focused on several intervention programmes on social assistance and social protection to ensure the non-erosion of the pre-COVID-19 gains on Social Protection Floors.
“These were to cushion the effect of the emerging global challenges listed in the D-G’s report,’’ he said.
He said if LDCs were to proceed on the legitimate path of structural transformation, it would involve reengineering their productive capacity, recalibrating their institutional arrangement and reviewing their governance structure to transit to the league of developing countries.
Ngige added that, it would require increasing support and projects by international communities and multinational institutions (ILO inclusive) to assist the LDCs in the six key focus areas listed in paragraph 25 of the report.
He said this is in addition to adhering to the principles of country ownership emphasised in the Doha Programme of Action to transition.
“Unfortunately though, the ambitious centenary declaration of 2019 and the 2021 Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis have no direct link to the LDCs.
“We request a review and reiterate our previous call for the need to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines reach the remotest part of the world by granting patent rights for production of vaccines to regions.
“Sadly too, the LDCs are mostly the regular members on the Committee of Experts on the Application of Standards.
“We advocate a review of this practice especially as it relates to the LDCs economic performance and development,’’ he added.(www.nanews.ng)