Ratification of ILO Convention 190 suffers delay in Nigeria despite NLAC support

THE ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190 in Nigeria has suffered yet another delay, despite the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) giving the Ministry of Labour and Employment a go-ahead to hasten the process.

Labour leaders and unionists have, therefore, expressed concerns over the delay in the domestication of the ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment at Workplace despite the promise made by the Nigeria Government at the 2019 International Labour Conference (ILC), that the country would be one of the first member states to ratify the convention.

Going by its promise to the world at the 2019 ILC, other stakeholders said they expected the Federal Government to have since directed the Ministry of Justice to draft a proposal to the National Assembly.

The NLAC had at its March 2021 meeting in Owerri, resolved to ratify the Convention against gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) which is the first-ever global standard that aims to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work.

NLAC is made up of the three social partners: the government,  employers of labour represented by Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the organised labour as represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

With NLAC’s approval, the Ministry of Labour and Employment is expected to convey verbal communication of approval for Nigeria to ratify ILO C190 to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), who will direct the Ministry of Justice to perfect the proposal in the form of a bill for onward transmission to the National Assembly for the eventual ratification process.

The President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba told journalists in Abuja that at the inauguration of NLAC in Owerri, the social partners agreed that the Minister of Labour should recommend to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to speed up the process of ratifying the convention.

Wabba said: “All the social partners have agreed. Already, recommendations will go to the Federal Government for its ratification. We are on course.”

The Chairperson, NLC Women Commission, Comrade Aliu Salamatu said the process needed for the speedy ratification of Convention 190 is long overdue as the process has taken too long. She added that workers will not go to sleep but will continue to follow up with the process

The concern was further strengthened by the recent study by the Solidarity Centre AFL-CIO, which showed a rise in cases of Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in the workplace.

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