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NLC laments Nigerian workers poor working condition at Geneva ILC conference

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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, flanked by Nigerian tripartite delegation; to his left, the Chairman Senate Committee on Labour, Senator Suleiman Nazif; Senator Mao Ohuabunwa and other members of the delegation. To his left are: the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba; the Chairman, House Committee on Labour, Hon. Ezenwa and the President of TUC, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama; at the on-going 106th ILO Conference in Geneva.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday warned the world leaders at the on-going 106th session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva that the only panacea to global peace is to ensure social justice through decent work.

Addressing the General Assembly of the ILC at the United Nation House in Geneva, President of NLC Comrade Ayuba Wabba, also lamented the poor working condition of Nigerian workers, saying that the situation of the working poor in Nigeria has continue to be dire and exacerbating.

Wabba, who was responding to the report of the ILO director general agreed with the report that economic and development plans can only make meaning if there is decent work and respect for the principles of tripartism and collective bargaining.

The NLC president stated that decent work is a panacea to global peace, warning that there cannot be sustainable development without respect for human dignity.

He said: “Similarly, we share the view that social justice through decent work is a panacea to global peace, as there cannot be sustainable development without respect for human dignity.

“Mr. President, we are particularly pleased that the ILO has effectively realised that peace is essential to the pursuit of decent work, dignity and well-being. It is for this reason we commend the ILO for initiating the review of Recommendation 71 to use Employment and Decent Work to accelerate peace and resilience.”

On the state of workers in Nigeria, Wabba said the poor state of Nigerian workers is alarming, while their working situation is pathetic.

This, according to him, is as a result of the high and increasing cost of living; deepening unemployment situation; low social protection coverage, and delayed payment of salaries amongst others.

He said: “We wish to state that the situation of the working poor in Nigeria continues to be dire and exacerbating. This is because of the high and increasing cost of living; rising number of dependents given the deepening unemployment situation; low social protection coverage, delayed payment of salaries amongst others.

“It is for these reasons that we have demanded and achieved the composition of the tripartite national minimum wage committee to deliver an upward wage review.”

Wabba added: “We also wish to state that migration as an unstoppable human phenomenon will require broad-based collaboration, especially as we seek to ensure shared migration benefits. For Nigeria and Africa, our demographic trends suggest that we will require assistance on youth’s skills development and employment creation opportunities.

“We welcome the UN Global Compact on orderly, fair and safe migration discourse, and we urge the ILO to continue to provide tripartite social partners the necessary assistance to effectively participate in this and similar other migration governance processes.”

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