At the mention of Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, what comes to mind is the maintenance of industrial peace and harmony, but in reality, the Ministry plays more critical role than just to ensure industrial peace and harmony in the Nigeria Labour sector.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment’s vision and mission is to create enabling environment for employment generation, sustain and promote peaceful industrial relations, enhanced productivity and skills as well as provision of universal social security coverage to Nigerians, and to contribute to National growth and development through generation, promotion and sustenance of decent work.
Towards realizing its vision, the Ministry has over the years formulated policies and programmes thrusts which had culminated in the Development and promotion of productive employment policies and programmes for employment generation and actualization of the National Action Plan on Employment Creation and the Local Employment Content initiatives of the Federal Government.
The Ministry has also ensured the stimulation and enhancement of national productivity consciousness, rewards for excellence and promotion of national and global competitiveness, skills development, upgrading, certification, placement and empowerment of artisans, tradesmen and applicants in various areas of national needs.
Provision of industrial peace and harmony through mediation, conciliation and arbitration of trade disputes, provision of cooperative education and guidelines comprising monitoring of cooperatives at work, provision of Social Security Coverage, welfare and workers compensation to the nation’s workforce are included in its mandate.
The Ministry also guaranteed the promotion of occupational health, safety and welfare in work places as provided in Factories Act, 2004 and subsidiary legislation, formulation, implementation, coordination, monitoring and review of employment policies, legislations, regulations, guidelines and collective agreements with regards to employment generation, as well as formulation, implementation, enforcement, monitoring and review of policies on terms and conditions of employment and protection of workers among others.
In view of its critical role to the survival, growth and development of the country the need to re-classify the Ministry to the economic sector with appropriate funding of its activities will no doubt bring to fore the enormous benefit associated with a vibrant labour and employment Ministry.
While highlighting the need to re- classifies the Ministry from social to economic and security sector, recently the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr. Clement Illoh stated that: “The need to place this Ministry within the economic and security category with appropriate funding of its activities cannot be over-emphasized as Ministries of Labour all over the world are key to national survival, growth and development, it is the nation’s human capital resources that are responsible for the attainments of these critical objectives.”
“In compliance with the present administration’s strong focus on employment generation, labour protection, sound industrial relations system enhanced national productivity and social security in all sectors of the nation’s economy, the Ministry of Labour and Employment would continue to deploy significantly tested and globally accepted strategies involving social dialogue, rule of Law, due process, accountability, transparency and tact in a corruption free environment in making its contribution to the process of national growth and development”, the Permanent Secretary stated.
The call for the re-classification of the Ministry of labour and Employment is apt at this moment when Nigerians have keyed into the change mantra of the present administration, looking forward to a deviation from the past which has to a great extent negatively impacted our dear country.
Nigerians both young and old, employed and unemployed have a lot benefit from a re-classified and re-energized Ministry of Labour and Employment in line with international best practices as Ministry of Labour all over the world are key to national survival, growth and development.
Akintunde Martins Information Officer serving with Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.