Nigeria pledges commitment to inclusive democracy at ILO conference


THE Nigerian government has reaffirmed its dedication to developing an inclusive democratic state and a just society, with a strong focus on human rights, labour rights, and social justice.

The commitment was expressed by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment Kachollom Daju, in her address to the General Assembly of the 111th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) on Wednesday, June 8.

Highlighting the importance of addressing injustice and persistent inequality in the workplace, Daju, who led the Nigerian delegation, noted that sustainable development cannot thrive in an environment plagued by injustice, persistent inequality and unsafe working conditions.

She highlighted the recent revision of Nigeria’s National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health as a significant step towards promoting the government’s intervention in this area.

“To address these challenges, the National Policy on Occupational Safety and Health has recently been revised to ensure the government’s effective intervention.

“We are also in the process of updating our Future of Work Report in alignment with the ILO Centenary Declaration, the Abidjan Declaration, and the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work,” she stated.

Daju further reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to providing gainful employment with fair income, workplace security, and comprehensive social protection for all citizens.

The Nigerian government, according to her, aims to create opportunities for personal development, social integration, freedom, and popular participation, particularly focusing on gender equality and harnessing the potential of the country’s vibrant youth population.

“Our commitment has been reflected in our second Decent Work Country Programme 2015-2018, and we eagerly anticipate commencing the third phase with technical support from the ILO (International Labour Organisation) Abuja Office,” she added.

Nigeria is also taking steps towards ratifying ILO Convention No. 102 on Social Security (Minimum Standards) as part of its efforts to enhance social protection measures. This ratification would bring the total number of ratified ILO Conventions in Nigeria to 45.

In addition, Nigeria has undertaken to implement social protection intervention programs to mitigate the effects of emerging global challenges and maintain the gains achieved prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We continue to engage with our constituents and development partners to strengthen our legal and institutional frameworks in upholding fundamental principles and rights at work, providing full employment opportunities, ensuring social and labour protection, and fostering social dialogue and tripartite institutions,” Daju stressed.

Earlier, ILO Director-General, Gilbert Houngbo, called for greater social justice and equality as crucial elements in combating growing economic disparities witnessed worldwide.

Reports that the ILC serves as the annual gathering for more than 180 member countries of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), providing a platform to discuss crucial labour-related matters.

The 111th conference of the ILO commenced on June 5 in Geneva, Switzerland, and will continue until June 16.

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