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Labour Minister advocates for workers’ rights

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Government is dedicated to protecting the rights and welfare of workers.

Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, has called for increased partnerships to improve working conditions and efficiency in Nigeria’s labour sector. She reiterated the government’s dedication to protecting the rights and welfare of workers, guaranteeing fair treatment, safety at work, and adequate pay that reflects their efforts and necessities. During a one-day retreat focused on reforms and living wages in Nigeria, Onyejeocha emphasised the importance of working together with the National Assembly to pass Legislation and reforms that benefit workers.

The National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) hosted the retreat where representatives from different industries in Nigeria gathered to address issues such as reforms and the Minimum Wage. During the event, the minister emphasised the government’s commitment to promoting equitable standards, secure workspaces, and a decent wage for all employees. Recognising the importance of legislative action, she extended her appreciation to the National Assembly Committees on Labour, Employment, and Productivity for their support.

Legislation that aligns with workers’ desires must be enacted.

In a statement, Gabriel Emameh, the minister’s media aide, encouraged legislators to introduce and approve bills that address the needs of the workforce, promoting productivity, development, and consequences for violating labour laws. She emphasised the importance of their legislative supervision and dedication to implementing laws that safeguard and support employees in order to achieve the goals of their reform program. They have the power to achieve greater things and establish a legal structure that upholds their shared goal of a fair and inclusive labour market.

To truly bring about reform, they must unite to support and enact legislation that aligns with the desires of workers in every industry. It is crucial that we establish regulations and guidelines that promote efficiency and advancement within our workforce while also holding accountable those who break labour laws. This approach is essential for achieving genuine change. She pointed out that the recommendations of the tripartite committee on a new national minimum wage were seen as a model for implementing effective changes in wages.

Worker rights and fair compensation will be improved.

Furthermore, the government has reiterated its dedication to improving the working conditions in Nigeria, promising to uphold worker rights and provide fair compensation. The minister is confident that with ongoing support from stakeholders, the government’s goals for the sector can be successfully realised. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration in Nigeria is firmly committed to upholding the rights of all workers, providing safe workplaces, and guaranteeing fair wages. The goal is to establish a market that is just, inclusive, and supportive of the dreams and goals of every Nigerian employee.

She emphasised the crucial role played by the Tripartite Committee, which consists of the government, the organised private sector, and organised labour, in addressing the important matter of a new national minimum wage through active engagement with stakeholders. During her closing statement, she highlighted that the Labour and Employment Empowerment Programme (LEEP) by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment is a holistic strategy for both job generation and Regulation. One of its main components is dedicated to improving labour adherence and advocating for strong norms.

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Nigeria has a long history of advocating for workers’ rights and fair pay, dating back to the colonial period. The movement in Nigeria emerged in the early 1900s, as Trade unions were established and workers went on strike to demand improved working conditions and wages. Throughout the years, the formation of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in 1978 and the implementation of legislation have played a crucial role in solidifying the significance of workers’ rights in the nation’s socio-economic progress. This will guarantee that the advancements achieved will not only be preserved but also strengthened through strategic alliances and legal backing.


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