The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has demanded that the Federal Government immediately reconstitute the National Labour Advisory Council in the country.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, made the call in his office when a delegation of the International Labour Organisation Committee on Experts visited him on Thursday in Abuja.
Wabba said that the National Labour Advisory Council was necessary to ensure that Nigeria drive the process of tripartite consultation on labour matters.
According to him, the National Advisory Council has not met for the past three years and Nigeria was in arrears of reporting on major conventions at the annual International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva Switzerland.
`We demand that the National Advisory Council should be constituted immediately so that it can fill in the gap of advising in this important respect.
“At the last ILC, we have said yes, it is true that we are in arrears of reporting on major conventions, particularly conventions that has to do with freedom of association and the right to organised.
“We have also reported some new areas of violation, basically on the issue of review of the labour laws where we have actually faulted the process.
“Because the draft laws that we have are not only obsolete but they have not actually accommodated the issues that have being raised by the committee of experts,‘’ he said.
Wabba said that the current labour laws are five in number and the laws have been doctored at the eve of the ILC conference.
He explained that at the eve of the ILC Conference, there was a letter from the Ministry of Labour and Employment inviting the organised labour for a revalidation of the five labour laws.
“Looking at the bills we found out that we have not participated in the process of coming up with the draft as required by law.
“Because the process ought to be tripartite, which is why the National Labour Advisory Council is important and it is a platform that should be used to drive the process of the tripartite consultation,” he said.
Wabba said the National Labour Advisory Council was also an important forum to look at reports and adapt it before it was sent to ILO office in Geneva.
He also said that the visit by the committee of experts was necessary as Nigeria has outstanding issues on conventions that include freedom of association and the right to organised.
“I want to thank ILO for working with us since all this years in building our capacity and the leadership, throughout those years, ‘’he said.
Mrs Sofia Oliveria, Specialist on ILO standards and Labour Law, Dakar, said the visit was to build the capacity of the government and other stakeholders in the country.
Oliveria also said the visit was to interact with the social partners on key issues of the development of the labour reports from various perspectives such as the application of standards and how the ILO works.
Also, Mr David Dorkenoo, Specialist in Workers Activities ILO office, Nigeria, commended the Federal Government on its request to the ILO on technical support on capacity building.
Dorkenoo said the capacity training would enable the government to be able to fulfil its obligation to the ILO in terms of reporting on the international labour standards. (NAN)