Abuja, May 8, 2019 (NAN) The Federal Government says an estimated 600 million new jobs will be needed by the year 2030 to addres the growth of the global working age population.
Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment said this during the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Century and 60 years of ILO Anniversary on Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Ngige, represented by Mr Williams Alo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, said that approximately 40 million jobs would be needed annually to achieve this target.
According to him, it is internationally recognised that decent work is fundamental to sustainable development.
“It is estimated that over 600 million new jobs need to be created by the year 2030 that is approximately 40 million jobs annually to keep pace with the growth of the global working age population.
“The importance of decent work in achieving sustainable development is highlighted by Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals which aims to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”.
“To this end therefore, putting job creation at the heart of economic policy-making and development plans, will not only generate decent work opportunities but also more robust, inclusive and poverty-reducing growth.
“It is a virtuous circle that is as good for the economy as it is for people and one that drives sustainable development.
“I wish to inform you that in line with international best practice, decent work for all Nigerians is at the heart of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration,” he said.
The minister said that Buhari had approved and signed the new Minimum Wage Act that guarantees N30,000 minimum wage, for Nigerian workers both at the state and federal levels.
He, however, noted that the Federal Government in 2018 had approved the National Employment Policy in its bid to institutionalise the pillars of decent work as well as secure the future of work, among others.
The minister stressed that the ILO has been committed to promoting and creating standards that ensure decent work for all.
He said the ILO in collaboration with the Nigerian government has concluded the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP I and II) and modalities are being put in place to commence DWCP III for Nigeria, among others.
He also noted that Nigeria has ratified well over 40 ILO Conventions, including the eight Fundamental Conventions and two priority or governance conventions on the application of these Conventions as required.
Ngige added that the ILO has been a worthy partner from inception and the relationship has come a long way.
“To the ILO, even as you step into the next Centenary, Nigeria wishes to assure it of its commitment to walk with it side by side.
“We are poised to march another Centenary with the ILO. On this note, I wish to congratulate the ILO, the Nigerian government and all our partners even as we continue this journey,’’ he said.
Also Mr Dennis Zulu, ILO Country Director to Nigeria said that the ILO has a tripartite governing structure that brings together governments, employers, and workers.
Zulu said that the tripartite structure also set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.
“Today as we celebrate 100 years of ILO we also look towards the Future.
“The Future of Work report does not only give us a view into the Future, but also tells us what we need to do to prepare adequately to cope with the challenges of the future workplace.
“The ILO remains committed to working with its member states, Nigerian inclusive in the quest for a better future.
“We have travelled the long journey together thus far and indeed we need to maintain the partnership for the benefit of all.
“In this regard the ILO will continue to undertake its three major tasks in collaboration with its member states, the first being the promotion of the adoption of international labour standards, for implementation by member states,‘’ he said.
He commended the government, workers and employers of Nigeria for their collaboration over the years.
He added that, we indeed look forward to the strengthening this partnership as we embark on another segment of our journey together.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, President Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) noted that ILO has played a significant role in issue of social justices in the world of work.
“Imagine a world where ILO has not existed, a world without global standards and the right at work, a world where it will be the survival of the fittest or a world where we will be celebrating wealth without social justice.
“So, from where we are coming from for the past 100 years, we have a lot to celebrate about how this very important organisation have been able to bring about social justices in the world of work,‘’ he said.
Wabba said social justice, tripartism, social dialogue, respect, fundamental issues and the right of work, is what has been the game changer of what ILO is today.
He, however, added that going forward, we will guide jealously that achievement that has been achieved by ILO in terms of its tripartite structure and nature.
He said the future of work was to look at ways to address inequality which was also fundamental to the ILO.
Mr Timothy Olawale, Director- General Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) said the ILO has fulfilled its purpose and set objectives.
Olawale said the ILO had provided a platform for social justice, decent work and maintained inter-healthy relationships among its social partners.
He called for the improvement of fraternity and peace among nations, the purse for decent work and social justice and the provision of technical assistance to critical stakeholders which also includes the employers of labour.
He however called on the ILO to come up with ways of addressing the thematic issues like the Future of Work to meet the unprecedented challenges of a changing world of work.