The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called on the Federal Government to create more jobs and economic opportunities as key drivers in the promotion of peace, resilience and social cohesion in the country.
The ILO Country Director to Nigeria, Ms Vanessa Phala said this in a Panel Session tagged “Using Social Dialogue and Labour Standards in Promoting Peace and Resilience in Nigeria’’ on Thursday in Abuja.
The event was organised by the ILO in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to mark the 2022 International Peace Day. The 2022 theme for the International Peace Day is “End Racism and Build Peace’’ and it is celebrated annually on Sept. 21. Phala said that globally, almost 2 billion people were still living in fragile and conflict effected situation where poverty was increasingly concentrated.
“The ILO believes that employment, decent working condition and social dialogue can contribute to peace and resilience, ’’she said.
Phala also said that in collaboration with member states, tripartite constituents and other stakeholder, the ILO supports an employment-centered crisis.
“In Nigeria, according to the United State Institute for Peace, the government of Nigeria has successfully intensified the fight against the extremist group Boko Haram.
“Yet the country also faces resurgent militancy in the Delta, increased agitation by pro-Biafra nationalists in the Southeast, conflicts over land use in the Middle Belt, and an economic crisis triggered primarily by low oil prices.
“The lack of peace in Nigeria can be linked to a lack of employment and economic opportunities for the growing young population.
“As a result, achieving peace goes beyond military force alone.
The country must deploy Social Dialogue by interacting with all population, groups and creating decent jobs for the growing younger population, ’’she said.
Phala said that the ILO Recommendation on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation, 2017 (No. 205) refered to important principles that would foster peace in the world of work.
She added that this include the freedom from child labour and forced labour, freedom of association and collective bargaining, and tripartite social dialogue, non-discrimination, and equality at work, Labour Inspection, among others.
Phala however, said that Nigeria had ratified most of the conventions concerning the thematic areas.
She said the ILO supervisory bodies had requested some practical and legislative measures for their improved implementation.
Also, Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said that social dialogue and the application of labour standards had remained key in the Labour Administration System.
Ngige, represented by Mrs Juliana Adebayo, Director, Productivity and Measurement Standard in the ministry, said the topic, “Using Social Dialogue and Labour Standards in Promoting Peace and Resilience in Nigeria’’ underscores the essence of tripartism in Labour Administration System.
“The critical role of social dialogue to stabilising our industrial relations pace was demonstrated during the negotiation on the National Minimum age and the recent concluded review of the Labour Bill, ‘’he said.
He said that government had created a stable political and civil climate in Nigeria that had enabled employers and workers organisations to operate freely without fear of reprisal.
He added that the government has ratified conventional tripartite consultation convention such as the International Labour Standard which is the highest attestation to the commitment.
“Government has also realized that, social dialogue is a veritable tool for the promotion of industrial peace and harmony, decent work, income distribution, among other in the country.
The Federal Government and the International Labour Organisation have called for more collaboration and partnerships to tackle 15 million children from child labour in Nigeria.
Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, made the appeal at the National Children Conference in commemoration of the 2022 World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL), with theme “Universal Social Protection to end Child Labour’’, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ngige recalled that in 2015, world leaders gathered and adopted the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Target 8.7 in all its forms by 2025. According to him, the call sought to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour and modern day slavery and human trafficking, and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour.
He therefore said that the collaboration and partnerships was imperative amidst growing concerns of a global social crisis with alarming proportion.
According to him, global estimates have shown that child labour is on the rise; with an increase from 152 million to 160 million between 2016 and 2020. “Sub-Saharan Africa has seen 19.6 per cent of all African children in child labour, and a possible nine per cent in hazardous work; this is in contrast to continued progress being made elsewhere in the world.
“In Nigeria, child labour has become a scourge.
Several children find themselves on the streets, forced to make a living, with others employed in industrial complexes and hazardous environments.
“Statistics revealed there are about 15 million child workers as at 2020, according to the ILO, with the UN warning that the absence of mitigating strategies could see an increase of children engaged in child labour by the end of 2022. “This of course, will most certainly have massive implications in the near future.
However, as a country, we take pride in stating that considerable efforts have been made in dealing with this menace,’’ he said.
He added that most notably the adoption and ratification of ILO Conventions 138 and 182 on Minimum Age and Worst forms of child labour, respectively.
He also said that others are the passage of the Child Rights Act into law to domesticate the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with adoption by about 30 state governments.
He said that the implementation and enforcement of National Action Plan on Child Labour, Prohibition and Elimination of Forced Labour, Modern Slavery, and Human Trafficking in workplaces was spearheaded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Ngige also said the National Steering Committee, as well as State Steering Committees, and Desk Officers on Child Labour were established at all levels of government and institutional levels to translate the provisions of the five-year National Action Plan. “In spite of all these, we require more collaboration and partnerships to confront the task ahead of us,’’ he said.
The minister, while speaking on the theme for the year called for more investments in social protection systems in order to create a strong protection base that will keep children away from child labour.
`According to him, as we reflect on the progress being made so far, let us also not lose sight of the importance of providing safety nets for children in vulnerable conditions.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 brought with it a chain reaction that caused devastating effects on the long-term development and safety of children worldwide.
As a result, families were plunged into poverty and vulnerable conditions, among others.
“Also the households needing to employ various means for survival; this meant children were forced to go into the streets to bring income, exposing them to higher levels of vulnerability compared to adults,’’ he said.
He also noted that countries all over the world had to expand their social protection systems to adequately respond to the crisis, which could reduce the number of children in child labour.
He therefore said that President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration had done a lot in addressing some challenges fueling child labour in Nigeria.
“This include tackling poverty through Social Investment programmes such as Conditional Cash-transfer, Trader moni, N-power, Home Grown School Feeding,’’ he said.
He however commended the National Steering Committee and other stakeholders for putting together the forum for dialogue in the interest of the Nigerian children.
Also, Mrs Vanessa Phala, the ILO Country Director to Nigeria, said that in Nigeria, not less than 15 million children are engaged in child labour, and half of the number are bearing the heavy burden of hazardous work.
“I am pleased to tell you that the International Labour Organisation’s Dutch Government funded ACCEL Africa Project in Nigeria, in collaboration with the ILO’s tripartite partners, has intensified its social protection with a series of interventions in line with the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan. “Others are the Nigeria’s National Action Plan, State Action Plans, and other roadmaps to achieving Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7- the total elimination of all forms of child labour and forced labour by 2025. “In addition, over 100 pupils and students have received re-enrolment and school kit support to keep their dreams alive and prepare for a better future,’’ she said.
Phala also noted that these interventions have targeted identified vulnerable children, guardians and parents in focal communities of Ondo, Niger and Osun States, with impacts beyond geographical boundaries.
According to her, to sustain our interventions, governments, social partners, the media, others need to constantly engage children to ensure sustainable policies, and implement legal requirements for the elimination of child labour through monitoring.
“There also need to improve relevant policy frameworks and provide innovative solutions to address poverty which is the root cause of child labour and forced labour.
“We urge employers to honour the right of workers to social protection by constantly remitting the employer’s contribution to health protection, old age benefits, employment injury scheme, and other support systems,’’ she said.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says it is providing technical support to the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure the amendment of labour laws.
Ms Vanessa Phala, ILO Country Director, made the disclosure at the 15th Annual Banking and Finance Conference, organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Phala spoke with newsmen on the sideline of the conference after a panel discussion on the topic, “Workforce Globalisation: Opportunities and Threat’’.
According to her, ILO is currently playing a role in the dispute between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government.
“The role that we can play is not different from the role that we are already playing.
“I must indicate that the Federal Government has been in the process of reviewing labour laws and ILO has been in the forefront providing technical support.
“This is to make sure that the revision is in line with some of the conventions that the government has ratified.
“I think with what is happening with the ASUU situation, is of course happening in different countries.
I had an opportunity to be in South Africa an in the forefront of negotiating amendments to labour laws.
“So, you do get situations where the matter drags on for a very long period of time, but it’s unfortunate.
This is because we are talking about the future of the generation of Nigeria and that will actually contribute towards the economic growth and development of the country,’’ she said.
Phala advised that it was essential for parties to understand and recognise the need for speedy resolution of the problem.
She said, “I think in order to resolve them, there has to be willingness to look beyond some of the petty things, but there has to be commitment to also trust that the conversations and the solutions are for long lasting.
“So, it takes a lot, in terms of providingwww.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have collaborated to build capacities of workers to participate in UN reforms relating to decent work agenda.
The organisations are jointly organising a three-day capacity building workshop for NLC educators on the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UN-SDCF) and the Decent Work Agenda (DWA).
At the opening of the workshop on Wednesday in Lagos, the Director of ILO Country Office, Ms Vanessa Phala, said that the workshop was crucial and planned as part of ILO’s ongoing efforts at exploring innovative approaches.
Phala was represented by Ms Chinyere Emeka-Anuna, Senior Programme Officer, ILO Country Office, Abuja.
“These approaches are for supporting and guiding trade unions and encouraging them to take a more proactive and assertive role in processes shaping development policies at national, regional and global levels.
“To this end, allow me to commend the ILO (ACTRAV) for launching, in April 2021, a publication entitled: `United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation and the Decent Work Agenda: A Trade Union Reference Manual’.
“The reference manual for trade unions emphasises their political and developmental role in the UN sustainable development.
“I am pleased to note that this workshop has been conceptualised around the themes and modules in the reference manual designed to explain and simplify UN country level development processes,” she said.
The official said that the processes included common country analyses leading up to the consolidation and adoption of the cooperation frameworks and the expected role of trade unions as well as how unions could promote ILO normative agenda, international labour standards and national development strategies.
A UN Coordinator, Mr Matthias Schmale, said that the UN-SDCF outlined how the UN system would leverage its comparative advantages and broad resources.
Schmale was represented by Ms Inviolata Chinyangarara, ILO Senior Specialist in Workers’ Activities, Country Office, Abuja.
He said: “It has been written with the close collaboration and vital inputs of government at all levels, along with a wide array of others from across the society, including the NLC.
“We are now close to finalising this essential framework; the document will be our North Star as it outlines the how, what, where, when and why of the UN’s activities across the country.
“It outlines how we will drive change and accomplish the 2030 Agenda with its accompanying SDGs.” In his remarks, NLC’s General Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Ugboaja, said that the workshop was unique because trade unions had not been engaged with regard to UN operations in the country.
“There is a formal effort to get the workers through the trade unions to be involved and get acquainted with the works of the UN in the country.
“This is the initial take-off to build the capacity of trade unions to understand the workings of the UN, particularly with regard to the development goals,” he said.
ILO on Saturday in Abuja charged the Nigerian government to increase investments in social protection to eliminate child labour.
Its Country Director in Nigeria, Ms Vanessa Phala, made the call during a Road Walk to commemorate the World Day against Child Abuse.
The 2022 Day has “Universal Social Protection to end Child Labour’’ as its theme.
“I call on the Nigerian government to increase investments in social protection to make it a right for all Nigerians, including children.
“Government should also establish universal child and family benefits and extend social protection to the informal and rural economy.
“This is important to reduce child labour as the issues are more prevalent in the rural areas,’’ she said.
Phala noted that while social protection had taken prominent role in national and state-level policy documents, development plans and budgetary allocations, coverage remained low.
“The last ILO Social Security Inquiry performed in collaboration with Federal Government in 2019 showed that only 12 per cent of children benefitted from social protection.
“This is mainly through the Home-Grown School Feeding programme,’’ she noted.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment had said that the Federal Government was investing billions in social protection to fight poverty and to better the lives of parents and children.
In her remarks, Ms Daju Kachollom, Permanent Secretary in the ministry said government was working to ensure a drastic reduction in child labour.
“We have at least 15 million children in Nigeria who are into forced labour and there is no country that can develop if it does not take care of its young ones,’’ she 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 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 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.
The Federal Government and the International Labour Organisation(ILO) has called for proper planning of climate policies to ensure effective implementation in the country.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said this while inaugurating the “Just Transition and Green Jobs Project for Nigeria’’ on Monday in Abuja.
The project which is also known as the “Social Dimension of Ecological Transition has been domiciled as the “Just Transition and Green Jobs for Nigeria Project”.
It is also been implemented in some other African countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Nigeria and scheduled to run until December 2024.
Ngige, represented by Ms Kachollom Daju, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said that to achieve the aim of the climate policies, all stakeholders in both the public and private sectors must be actively involved.
He said the initiative is key to national development due to the dire need for Nigeria to fulfill her obligations, as contained in the updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
According to him, the entire African continent, contributes less than three per cent of the Green House Gas (GHG).
“The impact of global warming is more severe on the socio-economic well-being of the developing countries.
“The situation is made worse by the fact that most of these countries are already being challenged by intermittent economic instabilities and recessions.
“This is due to COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other development challenges contributing to their high poverty profiles and poor social indices,’’ he said.
Ngige added that for instance, the intense global campaigns to replace fossil fuel with renewable energy sources have adverse implications on Nigeria’s economy.
He said this was due to the nation’s high dependence on crude oil exportation as the major source of foreign exchange earnings.
The minister said the degree of impact of climate actions on sectors in Nigeria vary; with the oil and gas industry expected to be most severely affected.
“However, the agricultural industry, as well as five other sectors identified in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), will also be hard hit if ignored in the process of cushioning the impact of the actions on workers.
“This would create a dependency phenomenon, with loss of jobs in large numbers and significant economic pressures on the livelihood of the affected workforce, ultimately sending negative ripples on the nation’s economy at macro level.
“Therefore, the climate policies and strategies formulated for Nigeria must be carefully planned, implemented and evaluated to ensure that no one is left behind, ‘’he said.
He added that this justifies the multi-sectoral composition of both the Project Steering Committee (PSC) and Technical Work Group (TWG) which have been inaugurated on this project.
“It is expected that the launch of the Just Transition Project in Nigeria would create massive awareness and sensitise stakeholders and the general public on the need to support the initiative.
“That is towards harnessing the various opportunities created by the climate change actions in Nigeria.
“Also, the focus is to grow the economy, ameliorate any undesirable socio-economic impact on workers; strengthen the workforce by replacing obsolete skills and creating new jobs,’’ he said.
The minister added that the project, which is designed to be private sector led, will ensure that substitution of fossil energy with solar, wind powers, among others would not lead to deficits in job volumes.
He said it would also open new and diverse opportunities for new investments, technologies and jobs, especially for young Nigerians.
Ngige however, noted the high prospects of the initiative towards the reduction of the lingering high unemployment and under employment rates in Nigeria.
ILO Country Director to Nigeria, Ms Vanessa Phala, said the actions planned under the project will contribute to strengthening the resilience of local economies and expansion of opportunities for decent job creation.
Phala also noted that the 2015 Paris Agreement highlighted a just transition and decent work as essential elements to responses to climate change.
“This is as well as the guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all, as adopted by the ILO constituents to guide the transformation.
“It aims to enable ambitious climate action that delivers decent jobs and advances social justice; support countries on bold solutions for a transition towards a sustainable future.
“That is just for all and enjoys broad-based support and facilitate an inclusive and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis for building back better,’’she added.
She also noted that project was supported by the ILO Office, Abuja, with the French Government.
Also, Mr Emma Ugboaja, General Secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said that the Just Transition is the flagship contribution of the World of Work to the Climate Change discourse.
“The struggle for the mainstreaming of workers’ concerns and perspectives on the global climate change discourse did not come easy.
“We therefore, demand that the Nigerian Just Transition and Green Jobs Project must be built on Social Dialogue.
“The Nigerian Just Transition and Green Jobs Project must pay attention to Social Protection and also government should invest in research and innovation.
“Ultimately, our collective aspiration should be to engender an economy wide process that collaborates on plans, policies and investments that lead to a future where there is an abundance of green and decent jobs,’’he said. (
The Federal Government says it is committed to fostering collective approach to build a positive safety and healthy culture at work place that would promote national development.
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, made the call at the commemoration of the 2022 World Day for Safety and Health at work on Thursday in Abuja with the theme: “Act Together To Build A Positive Safety And Health culture’’.
Keyamo, represented by Dr John Magbado, the Director overseeing Office of the Permanent Secretary, said government was taking proactive steps towards achieving a safe and healthy environment at workplace.
According to him, this is through national programmes, legislations and collective agreement on Occupational Safety and Health, in line with the International Labour Organisation(ILO) decent work agenda. .
“Nigeria as a member state of the ILO has since 2004, joined in the annual awareness –raising campaign of safety and health.
“This is intended to focus the attention of the populace on the magnitude of work related accidents, injuries, diseases and deaths.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen that having a strong Occupational Safety and Health system was very apt.
“We saw meaningful participation of government, employers, workers, public health actors, among others that are crucial in protecting working environment and safeguarding the safety and health of workers, ’’he said.
He, however, said there was need for continuous collaboration and co-operation of all stakeholders across all sector to ensure that highest level of safety, health and wellbeing of all workers in the country.
The ILO Country Director to Nigeria, Ms Vanessa Phala, said trhat no fewer than 2.9 million workers died yearly due to occupational accidents and diseases, while 402m people suffer from non-fatal occupational injuries.
Phala, represented by Dr Runo Onosode, also said that the occupational risk factor with the largest number of deaths is attributed to exposure to long working hours following to particular matter, gases and fumes.
According to her, not only do occupational injuries and illness cause immeasurable human suffering to victims and their families, they also entail economic loses.
She added that over the years the ILO has shown its commitment to supporting safe work environment in Nigeria by providing both technical and financial support to the Nigerian government and its social partners.
“The ILO supported the Federal Government develop its first national OSH profile and thereafter supported the government revise its national OSH policy which is been launched today by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“ The ILO also supported a technical dialogue on a number of labour bills currently been developed including the occupational health and safety bill.
“The International Labour Standards along with relevant laws and policies would give impetus to the promotion of safety at work to ensure that workers are adequately protected, ’’she said.
The ILO boss, therefore, called on the government to safeguard the lives of the workers by building better resilient national and state occupational safety and health policies and programmes.
Also, Mrs Lauretta Nneka, Director, Factories of the Federation, Occupational Safety and Health in the ministry, said that safeguarding the occupational safety and health of the national labour force, had been a major statutory responsibility of the ministry.
She said the ministry had continue to discharge its responsibility through vigorous enforcement of factories Act and its subsidiaries regulation, and host of other strategies aimed at promoting safety, health and wellbeing of persons at work.
“The theme of 2022 celebration is apt; at the workplace level, a strong occupational safety and health culture is one in which the right to safe and health working environment is valued and promoted by both managers and workers ,’’she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in raising awareness for the commemoration of the day, a rally and road show as well as medical outreach were held in Kugbo Funiture Market.(