Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has called for the integration of Labour Administration System in the formulation and execution of Nigeria’s industrialisation policies/strategies.
He said the integration would lead to increased economic growth and improved standard of living.
The Minister made the call in his address on the occasion of the Two-day Annual Senior Officers’ Conference of the Professional Departments of the Ministry of Labour and Employment and its Agencies, holding in Keffi, Nasarawa State from 12 – 13 November 2020.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Yerima P. Tarfa, the Minister stated that the overall objective of Labour Administration System is “to promote industrial peace and security necessary to attract the vital investment for industrial growth and development.”
Ngige described as apt the theme of the Conference: “Improving Labour Administration System: Panacea to Industrial Growth and Development of Nigeria”, and noted that “Labour as the human component is the most critical agent in industrial growth and development.”
He observed that successive governments had pursued various industrialisation policies/strategies ranging from craft and artisanal production to the current diversification efforts anchored on agricultural revival, but “what has been lacking in all these efforts is the integration of Labour Administration System in their formulation and execution processes.”
Ngige, however, pointed out that the President Buhari-led administration had sought to integrate Labour Administration System in its policies, such as the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which has “investing in our people” as one of its cardinal objectives.
The Minister disclosed that a lot of efforts were on-going to lay a sound foundation for the industrialisation of Nigeria with the Ministry of Labour and Employment playing key roles in those efforts.
Ngige, therefore, tasked the Ministry on improving “Labour Administration System in Nigeria to the extent that it serves as a springboard to industrialisation.”
He also charged the Ministry “to re-examine its role and working models, and boost its capacity to respond as a catalyst to industrialising Nigeria.”
The Minister called on the participants to use the opportunity of the Conference “to review and strengthen the Ministry’s role in coordinating the national labour policy by coming up with practical steps” to improve areas where there are challenges in carrying out the Ministry’s mandates.
Earlier, in an address of welcome, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Yerima Peter Tarfa, posited that sustainable economic growth and development in the country could only be achieved if Labour Administration System was recognised as a vital economic activity and allowed to drive the process.
According to him, “if Nigeria is to make meaningful economic progress, those with the right expertise which rightly includes the system of labour administration, must not be excluded from the process of economic development.”
The Permanent Secretary, represented by Acting Director, Inspectorate Department, Ajuwon Dauda Adeniyi, stated that the Conference would afford the participants the opportunity to develop a scheme for the upliftment of Labour Administration in Nigeria.
Tarfa called on the officers of the Ministry and other participants in the Conference to come up with a Labour Administration System capable of driving the economic development of the country.
He stated that “such an effective Labour Administration System will position the Ministry and its Agencies as indispensable tools to industrial growth and development in Nigeria.”
The Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr Sule Abdullahi, represented by his Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Hon. Mohammed Dikko, flagged off the Conference.
Present at the event were the Director-General, National Productivity Centre, Dr Kashim Akor; Director-General, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Dr. Nasiru Ladan Argungu; Director-General, Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Alhaji Saliu lsiaq-Alabi, representative of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), and Registrar, Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP).
Also present were representatives of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC).