By Akwashiki M. Abiola
The Director of the ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, Mr. Dennis Zulu, has pledged ILOs support to the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) in carrying out her mandate in ensuring industrial harmony in Nigeria.
He made the pledge in response to a presentation made on areas for possible ILO intervention during the MINILS 2019 Annual Public Lecture and National Dialogue, held recently in Ilorin, Kwara state.
The Public Lecture which was organized in conjunction with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), is with the theme “Casting Human Rights in Employment Relations Mould: From State to Workplace Perspective”.
While delivering his good will message at the event, Mr. Zulu acknowledged the Institutes contributions to debates on key labour issues that are of interest to the ILO.
According to him, the public lecture was of a great relevance to the ILOs objectives as it celebrates its centenary in 2019.
He stated that right from its inception in 1919, the ILO has been using Standards to address workers rights globally and at the workplace.
The ILO Director further commended Nigeria for being the first African Country to host both the First African Office of the ILO in 1959 and the First ILO African Regional Conference in Lagos from 5-16 December 1960.
According to him, the ILOs engagement with MINILS since its inception has yielded positive results over the years and has affected labour administration in Nigeria positively.
He was optimistic that ILOs continuous engagement with MINILS, partners and other relevant stakeholders would bring more benefits to Nigerians.
He commended MINILS for taking the initiative to share information and good practices on labour issues and pledged the ILOs support to some of the activities and programmes of the institute to enable the institute impact positively on the beneficiaries of such programmes.
In his goodwill message, the NLC General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, commended the ILO for adopting a number of conventions and recommendations to moderate industrial relations in the work place.
Sent He listed them as the convention of Freedom of Association, Organizing, Collective Bargaining, Full and Productive Employment, Elimination of all Forms of Forced Labour, Abolition of Child Labour and the Elimination of Discrimination in Employment and Occupation. He urged workers and employers to use these standards to demand their rights.
Mr. Saliu Alabi, Director-General of MINILS, while speaking on the theme of the lecture, said that human rights are key elements in overall strategy for engendering decent jobs as well as transforming employment relationships and work place practices.
He added that there is increasing consensus that the workplace is a critical platform upon which development processes could be fostered, at both strategic and operational levels .
He further commended the Ministry of Labour and Employment and several other partners including ILO for their support to the institute and implored that the Dialogue would give momentum to the cause of human rights and employment relations in Nigeria.