The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), says it has inaugurated the Trade Unions Information Guide, to assist returning migrants and migrant workers return, readmitted and reintegrated into society.
The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba said this during the inauguration and unveiling of the “Trade Union Information Guide on `Return and Reintegration of Migrants and Migrant Workers” in Nigeria, on Thursday in Abuja.
Wabba said that there were factors causing people, especially young people, to contemplate and undertake desperate and dangerous migrations.
“We are witnessing a situation where the forceful removal and deportation of migrants, noticeably in Europe and North America, and migrant workers, especially in the Middle East, are increasing.
“Equally interesting is the fact that several migrants and migrant workers are committing to returning, with some voluntarily ready to do so.
“Unfortunately, it has been observed over time that several potential returnees find it difficult, frustrating and traumatic to both successfully return and get re-integrated back home.
“One of the challenges encumbering this process has been identified as the dearth of handy and easy-to-understand-and-utilise pieces of Information,’’ he said.
The NLC president said that the situation had made the two group of people susceptible to exploitation, vulnerability and, consequently, the unwillingness to return.
Wabba added that the Congress recognised the human and labour rights of these persons; and considering that these migrants and migrant workers were potential members of the trade unions.
“Therefore, the NLC sees the need to assist and support returning migrants and migrant workers to return, be readmitted and reintegrated home in comfort and dignity.
“This is why this information guide has been produced,’’ he said.
He said the Trade Union Information Guide had been formulated to contribute to, and complement the Standard Operating Procedures on Return and Reintegration, already developed by the Federal Government.
According to him, it is a workers-friendly guide that places migrant workers at the core, and provides necessary links to facilitate an easy Return and Reintegration.
“We are confident that this information guide will serve as a qualitative contribution to ensuring a comfortable and dignified return, and a successful readmission and reintegration of returning migrants and migrant workers.
” He expressed the NLC’s appreciation and commendation to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and other partners, both state and non-state actors, for the support in the development and production of the guide.
Also, Mr John Nyamali, Director Employment and Wages, Ministry of Labour and Employment, said that the unveiling of the information guide was part of the process of implementing the ILO FAIRWAY Project.
Nyamali, represented by Mr Raheem Kolawole, noted that the guide would strengthen effectiveness of workers’ organisations for enhanced engagement in the overall national labour migration.
According to him, records have shown that many of the Private Employment Agencies (PEAs) operating in the country are insufficiently regulated.
“This situation creates a platform for the promotion of Human Trafficking and other abuses under the guise of a managed labour migration scheme,’’ he said.
He also said that the establishment of the International Labour Migration Division in the ministry, had played a major role in sensitisation and advocacy.
Nyamali added that the Pre-departure Orientation Seminars (PDOS) of the ministry was to ensure smooth and orderly departure of migrants and migrant workers to the destination countries, in line with what the NLC was doing.
He challenged stakeholders in charge of migration management in Nigeria, to work together through advocacy and sensitisation.
According to him, migration represents a growing challenge as Nigeria occupies an important position in the migration landscape in Africa.
“The Ministry recognises the need for better management of organised labour migration in view of its contributions to the economic and social development of the country.
“This is also as well as to combat the increasing challenges of irregular migration, exploitative practices, forced labour, smuggling, human trafficking and protection of the right of migrant workers through the trade union voice,’’ he said.
Also, Vanessa Phala, ILO Country Director to Nigeria said that the ILO, under the Fairway Project, had collaborated in the implementation and development of the information guide form migrants.
Phala, also represented by Mr Austin Erameh, National Project Coordinator Fairway Project, said the guide was also developed through joint capacity building, consultations and sensitisations.
“We believe this guide will go a long way in addressing the absence of information for returning migrants and migrant workers in the country,’’ Erameh said.
The Federal Government says is investing billions in social protection to fight poverty in the country.The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said this while addressing newsmen on the occasion of the 2022 World Day Against Child Labour, on Thursday in Abuja.The event was themed; “Universal Social Protection to end Child Labour.”Ngige however, described the billions of Naira spent by the Federal Government on social protection programmes as triple vaccination against poverty.He said that the Federal Government was vigorously implementing its numerous social protection programmes to better the lives of parents and the children.According to him, everything possible is being done to sustain the social protection programmes in spite of Nigeria’s dwindling revenue.He noted that poverty was fueling child labour, especially in developing countries, but expressed optimism that the scourge could be eliminated through establishment of social protection floors and programmes.He said that his ministry and other members of the National Steering Committee on the Elimination of Child Labour were calling for increased investment in social protection programmes and schemes.He added that this would establish solid social protection of children from child labour.He explained that social protection programmes were essential in the fight against poverty and vulnerability, identified as the causes of child labour.“Children engaged in this (child labour) are badly endangered and that is why the government, through the Ministry of Labour and Employment, in collaboration with the ILO and other stakeholders, have been working assiduously.“They are collaborating to ensure the elimination of Child Labour in line with SDG 8.7, and that young workers of legal working age are protected and work in safe conditions,’’he said.According to the minister, the government is vigorously implementing the National Children School Feeding Programme (NCSFP), which is the major plank of the battle to fight child labour.He said this was aimed at increasing children school enrollment and preventing them from dropping out of school.He said the children were being fed with proteins and nutritious food for healthy growth and also to keep them in school, while providing jobs for their parents as farmers, traders and cooks.According to Ngige, the government is also investing billions of Naira on the Universal Basic Education, which is enabling children to have free primary and junior secondary school education, and curb child labour.He said poverty was also being addressed through the conditional cash transfer programme, Trader moni and N-power programme.Ngige said others were the diversification of the economy into agriculture through Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP) and the Technical Education Vocational Training (TVET) scheme.He said the government has been trying to sustain all these programmes in spite of the declining revenue.“The Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) shows that in 2023, if we continue with business as usual, without blocking leakages of oil theft, without functional refineries and removal of oil subsidy, we will have zero capital budget allocation.“The economy will be prostrate.It is the capital projects aspect of economy that puts money in production.Every money in recurrent is for consumption.“It doesn’t create jobs.Our earnings before and now are not the same.It calls for concern,’’ he said.He called on developed countries and the big corporate organisations in Nigeria to support the fight against child labour in Nigeria through investment in social protection.Also, Ms Vanessa Phala, Director, International Labour Organisation (ILO) country office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierrra Leone, described the current situation as very serious.Phala said recent ILO research, in partnership with UNICEF on the role of “Social Protection in elimination of child labour, revealed that 1.5 billion children worldwide, aged 0-14, received no family or child benefits.She also noted that more than 160 million children aged five to 17 years, were still engaged in child labour, and progress had stalled since 2016.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has ruled out any possibility of suspending its six months old strike.
The ASUU President, Prof.
Emmanuel Osodeke, made the call at a news conference at the University of Abuja, on Tuesday,Osodeke accused the Ministry of Labour and Employment, chaired by Dr. Chris Ngige as “Conciliator” for continuously creating more chaos in the resolution process.
ASUU had on Feb.14, embarked on strike to press home its demand, on government’s investment in the nation’s university infrastructure, and payment of members’ salaries through the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), among others.
According to ASUU President, the Union will never suspended its strike, but ensure it comes to a permanent end to to the lingering strike.
“ASUU, therefore, makes bold to say that the Minister of Labour and Employment has taken upon himself the role of unabashed protagonist in our ongoing dispute with the government of Nigeria for some inexplicable reasons.
“Dr Ngige earlier told whoever cared to listen that he was not the employer of university academics and advised the union to march to the Ministry of Education.
Nigerians may wish to know why he has suddenly turned around to constitute himself into impediment to an amicable resolution of the ongoing crisis.
“The union said it remains focused on its goal of making the Nigerian University system internationally competitive and getting its products to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers in any part of the world.
“We appreciate the teeming Nigerians for identifying with our vision in this respect and we specifically acknowledge the support and sacrifices of our students (including our members who are running their postgraduate programmes).
“We are as bothered as you are because we share a common interest in the Nigeria project, however, ASUU shall continue to be guided by the sacred canons of integrity, objectivity, and responsibility to which both academics and media practitioners subscribe.
“It is our fervent hope and desire that the current groundswell of interests would culminate in a convergence of solutions to this avoidable crisis in the overall interest of Nigeria Together, we shall win.
The struggle continues,” he said.
He maintained that if Ngige meant well as a “conciliator, he won’t be putting roadblocks on the path to completing a process that has dragged for more than five years.
“The Ministry of Labour and Employment, as the chief labour ministry of the country, is principally expected to apprehend disputes between employers and employees with a view to settling such disputes.
“The ministry shall normally await reports of disputes by either side to the disputes for settlement.
When the Minister apprehends a dispute, must communicate to the parties or their representatives, his or her own proposal for the resolution of the dispute.
“However, ASUU has always had serious reservations about the claim of “conciliation” by someone who has taken sides in the dispute, or by unabashed protagonist in the crisis such as the current Minister of Labour and Employment.
It is antithetical to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions (98, 151 & 154) on collective bargaining.
“It is against the principle of natural justice and the doctrine of equality for Dr. Ngige who carries himself as if he has personal scores to settle with ASUU and shoots down the Union everywhere it matters to assume the role of conciliator,” he added.
On the issue of funding of public universities, he said it has become the pastime of government officials to talk tough about billions and trillions of naira whenever the thorny issues of education and health sectors’ funding come up for mention.
However, he lamented that various sums of money in the same region which could have been deployed for human capacity development and public good usually develop into the thin air at the end of the day!“We are therefore, not surprised the leadership of the Ministry of Labour and Employment could condescend to the point of denigrating the import of massive injection of fund into the University Education sub-sector as they tried to miserably dismiss the vexed issue of funding Nigerian public universities and uplifting the country’s intellectual capital.
“ASUU believes that the idea of availability of funds is a dynamic process.
For instance, government can mobilize funds from different sources including non budgetary outlets like stamp-duty, GSM and alcoholic taxes.
“We are appalled by the recent calls by top government functionaries at both federal and state levels to establish more universities at a time agencies run by same Chief Executives are tightly squeezed for funding,” he said.
Reacting on the acclaimed breakaway faction of ASUU, Congress of University Academics (CONUA), Osodeke said the union was not aware of any recognised official faction.
The 110th session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) will take place between May 27 and June 11 June, in Geneva Switzerland..
This is contained in a statement by the ILO Media Advisory Department on Monday in Abuja.
The statement said the conference will be held in hybrid format, with delegates attending in person in Geneva, as well as virtually.
According to the statement, this is to take account of COVID-19 sanitary and travel restrictions, as well as renovation work at the UN and ILO buildings in Geneva.
“The ILC’s opening sitting (which will be fully virtual), will take place on May 27, committees will begin their work on May 30, while Plenary sittings will be held between June 6 and June 11.
“ The high-level World of Work Summit will take place on June 10. The Conference will close on June 11,” it said.
It said among the items on the agenda will be the possible amendment of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, 1998 , to include safe and healthy working conditions.
It also added that an initial discussion on apprenticeships would take place, with a view to the possible creation of a new international labour standard.
According to the statement, committees will also discuss decent work and the social and solidarity economy, and the strategic objective of employment as part of the follow-up mechanism of the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization .
It said the conference would be followed by a meeting of the ILO’s Governing Body on June, 13, to elect its Officers for the period 2022-2023.
It added that journalists who are not already accr
UN report shows negative global employment trend in 1st quarter
UN report shows negative global employment trend in 1st quarter
Geneva, May 23, 2022 The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has announced that the positive trend in the number of hours worked around the world has stalled and is now at risk of going into reverse.
The Organisation said this in Geneva on Monday.
The UN body attributed the decline in hours worked in the first quarter largely to the recent pandemic containment measures in China.
The figure remains 3.8 per cent below that recorded in the last quarter of 2019, used by the ILO as its pre-crisis benchmark.
Estimates for the first quarter of 2022 presented a marked deterioration, compared to the projections made in January of 2.4 per cent below the pre-crisis level, it said.
Apart from the restrictions imposed in China, the ILO report highlighted the effects of the war in Ukraine, which it said had hit the global economy by increasing inflation, especially in food and energy prices, and disrupting global supply chains.
It pointed to heightened financial turbulence and monetary policy tightening as likely to have a broader impact on labour markets around the world in the months to come.
“There is a growing but uncertain risk of a further deterioration in hours worked over 2022,’’ it predicted.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige has linked the scourge of child labour to pervasive poverty in the African continent.
Ngige made the remark on Wednesday while addressing the International Labour Organisation (ILO) 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour, holding in Durban, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa .
A statement signed by Mr Olajide Oshundun, Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, made this known in Abuja.
He said that the current administration in Nigeria had adopted multi-pronged approach to fighting child labour through reduction in poverty index, in spite of teething challenges.
The minister, who co-chaired the day’s panel, said Nigeria faced numerous challenges in the fight against child labour but was doing everything possible to stem the social malaise.
According to him, the challenges in the fight to eradicate child labour include low revenue earnings due to fall in crude oil prices and production, over dependence on imported goods or items.
The minister listed others as low agricultural production and the consequential economic recession.
He attributed the worsening scenario in Nigeria to the COVID-19 pandemic which stagnated economic activities all over the world, pushing the country into a second economic recession in 2020.
“Even before the present administration, poverty had crept into Nigeria’s socio-economic firmament and accentuated child labour with many non-working age persons taking to farming and artisanal mining.
“Also, the educational curriculum not properly developed to give the right and proper skills in the secondary and tertiary institutions compounded matters.
“High rate of school dropouts among children also became a major issue and a catchment pool for Child Labour.
”Also, decent jobs for young persons gave way to informal, hazardous jobs, such as illegal refining of petroleum products which has claimed scores of lives with attendant pollution,” he said.
Ngige added that others were the poor working in heavy construction industry and ill-equipped persons handling dangerous chemicals in industries.
He however said that to reverse poverty which was at the root of child labour, the Federal Government had rolled out various measures including the diversification of the economy
According to him, this is through agriculture revolution-provision of fertilisers, grants to farmers, quick yields and agricultural extension.
He said the other measures were the stoppage of unnecessary importation of commodities such as rice, potato and beans and blockage of revenue leakages.
Ngige therefore said government was boosting Technical and Vocational Training Education, though the restructuring of the entire secondary and tertiary education curricular.
He explained that the government had introduced free education at primary and junior secondary level as well as school feeding programme to tackle low school enrolment.
“We equally have adhoc employment schemes, like the National Youth Service Corps scheme for all graduates of tertiary institutions under 30 years, N- POWER programme for one million unemployed persons.
”We also have social security programmes, like Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), survival funds and entrepreneurship loans. The establishment of Occupational and Safety Health Commission is in progress,”he said.
He added that though these efforts were yielding fruits, the Nigerian Government still needed technical support from the ILO.
The event was declared open by the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.
A police advocacy group, Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV), has advocated for deepening of safety consciousness among youths to check cultism, abuse and other vices.
National Coordinator of POCACOV, CSP Ebere Amaraizu, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Friday that there was the need to enhance safety education for young minds in all schools.
NAN reports that Amaraizu spoke on the sidelines of the World Day for Safety and Health, which is celebrated every April 28.
According to him, there is the need to expose young people to the immediate and future dangers of engaging in vices and bad habits as well as keeping bad companies.
“This safety education, when embarked on and sustained, will promote prevention of negative incidents, accidents and others in our environment, communities, homes and schools,” he said.
Amaraizu congratulated all stakeholders in the safety business on the commemoration of the Day, saying that it was in line with the realisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said: “Time has come for all to close ranks in order to help build good safety and health culture for a greater society.
“With a focus on enhancing social dialogue toward a culture of safety and health, there is the needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) three and eight for a greater society.”
NAN reports that the theme of this year’s World Day for Safety and Health celebration is: “Act Together to Build a Positive Safety and Health Culture.”
NAN also reports that the Day was set aside by International Labour Organisation (ILO) to create awareness on issues of occupational safety and health of workers worldwide. (
Mr Issa Aremu, the Director-General of Micheal Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin, has called massive transportation transformation to curtail senseless loss of lives of commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada.
Aremu made the appeal on Thursday in Ilorin while speaking with newsmen on the sidelines of the commemoration of the 2022 World Day For Safety and Health.
This year’s celebration is themed:”To Building Positive Safety and Health Culture : Let’s Act Together”.
Aremu asserted that there must be revolution in the transportation system in the country as Nigerians die needlessly from Okada related accidents.
He said: “You can’t move over 200 million people on Okada and tricycle called Keke Napep. How many people do they carry and in any case how many do they carry to their destination alive?”.
Aremu pointed out that Okada riders and tricyclists have become contraptions of death, adding that government at all tiers must provide better means of transportation for its citizenry to prevent further loss of lives.
He also observed that commercial motorcyclists are now been used to perpetrate nefarious activities such as kidnappings and banditry.
“Nobody should be kept on contraption of 14th and and 18th centuries called Keke Napep, when he himself doesn’t use it.
“When you go to advance nations, you see people travel by rail and mass transit.
“I commend President Muhammadu Buhari for revolutionising the trail system. The attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train is nothing but deliberate mischief of saboteurs to reverse the country back.
“Who will not be happy that we are moving people in mass number. That’s why all people must know that it is an attack on the nation,” he said.
Aremu called for regulations on the use of Okada especially in Kwara, adding that the state government must ensure they obey speed limit, passenger limit, use of helmet and avoid putting children on petrol tanker, among others.
Similarly, Aremu canvassed for corporate governance at all levels to ensure that lives are safeguarded in work places, including motivation of work, training and re-training of workers and promotion of safety consciousness at all times.
He quoted the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that over one to two million work-related deaths occur annually.
Aremu reiterated commitment of MINILS in ensuring promotion of workers safety, saying that the institution has ensured that safety and health issues are now part of the curriculum in Labour Studies.
Also speaking, Alhaji Layi Rauf, the Controller, Kwara Ministry of Labour, reiterated that the commitment of the Federal Government to safeguarding and promoting the safety, health and well-being of workers in their various workplaces.
Rauf, who represented Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, said that it is the legal obligation of employers to provide a conducive, safe and healthy workplace environment for its workers.
This environment, he said, must be devoid of inherent hazards that can lead to avoidable accidents.
Also speaking, Mrs Susan Oluwole, the state Head of Service, called for the need to act together on safety of workers in the state and across the nation.
She added that the safety of workers would translate to a positive workforce with positive attitude.
Oluwole noted that in promoting safety in work place, there must be communication, positive process, training and management commitment.
The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has given a waiver for employment in health, defence and paramilitary to ensure that those who leave for greener pastures were replaced.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige explained that the waiver was granted by the government despite an embargo on recruitment into public service.
Mr Ngige disclosed this at the 2022 Budget Defence of his Ministry at the House of Representatives on Wednesday in Abuja.
The minister recommended the bonding of medical workers to ensure that people did not leave the country at will after receiving training for free at public expense.
“Medical education in Nigeria is almost free. Where else in the world is it free? The Presidential Committee on Health should come with a proposal for bonding doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists and other health workers, so that they don’t just carry their bags and walk out of their country at will when they were trained at no cost.
“In London, it is 45,000 pounds a session for medical education in cheap in universities. If you go to Edinburgh or Oxford, you pay $80,000. If you go to USA you pay $45,000 but if you go to the Ivy leagues, you pay $90,000 for only tuition, excluding lodging. You do it for six years. So, people in America take loans.
“We can make provisions for loans and you pay back. If government will train you for free, we should bond you. You serve the country for nine years before you go anywhere,” the Minister said in a statement issued by Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan.
The Minister said to address the incessant labour crises in the county, the government would introduce mandatory training for newly elected labour leaders at the National Institute of Labour Studies (NILS).
He said the proposed training will equip the labour leaders with the knowledge of Labour laws and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions to curb the incessant industrial disputes in the country.
Mr Ngige also revealed that his Ministry has made provision for the establishment of Rapid Response Labour Desk Offices across the 36 States of the Federation to help nip some of these industrial crises in the bud.
By Cecilia Ologunagba
World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Monday, said long working hours led to 745, 000 deaths from stroke and ischemic heart disease in 2016, a 29 per cent increase since 2000.
WHO and ILO stated this in a study published in Environment International Today.
In a first global analysis of the loss of life and health associated with working long hours, WHO and ILO estimated that, in 2016, 398, 000 people died from stroke and 347, 000 from heart disease as a result of having worked at least 55 hours a week.
“Between 2000 and 2016, the number of deaths from heart disease due to working long hours increased by 42 per cent and from stroke by 19 per cent.
“This work-related disease burden is particularly significant in men (72 per cent of deaths occurred among males), people living in the Western Pacific and South-East Asia regions, and middle-aged or older workers.
“Most of the deaths recorded were among people dying aged 60-79 years, who had worked for 55 hours or more per week between the ages of 45 and 74 years,” said the report.
With working long hours now known to be responsible for about one-third of the total estimated work-related burden of disease, it is established as the risk factor with the largest occupational disease burden.
This shifts thinking towards a relatively new and more psychosocial occupational risk factor to human health.
The study concludes that working 55 or more hours per week is associated with an estimated 35 per cent higher risk of a stroke and a 17 per cent higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease, compared to working 35-40 hours a week.
Further, the number of people working long hours is increasing, and currently stands at nine per cent of the total population globally.
This trend puts even more people at risk of work-related disability and early death.
The new analysis comes as the COVID-19 pandemic shines a spotlight on managing working hours; the pandemic is accelerating developments that could feed the trend towards increased working time.
Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said the COVID-19 pandemic had significantly changed the way many people work.
“Teleworking has become the norm in many industries, often blurring the boundaries between home and work.
“In addition, many businesses have been forced to scale back or shut down operations to save money, and people who are still on the payroll end up working longer hours.
“No job is worth the risk of stroke or heart disease. Governments, employers and workers need to work together to agree on limits to protect the health of workers,” he said.
Dr Maria Neira, Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, at WHO, said, “working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health hazard.
“It’s time that we all, governments, employers, and employees wake up to the fact that long working hours can lead to premature death.”
The UN agencies, however, said governments, employers and workers could take the following actions to protect workers’ health.
They stated that governments could introduce, implement and enforce laws, regulations and policies that ban mandatory overtime and ensure maximum limits on working time.
“Government could introduce bipartite or collective bargaining agreements between employers and workers’ associations can arrange working time to be more flexible.
“At the same time agreeing on a maximum number of working hours; employees could share working hours to ensure that numbers of hours worked do not climb above 55 or more per week,” the agencies said.(NAN)