Senate moves to protect workers in informal sector

The Senate has concluded plans to come up with a law to regulate and formalise the employment of domestic workers, apprenticeships, interns and other informal sector employees in Nigeria.

A bill to that effect sponsored by Senator Mohammed Sani (APC- Niger) scaled through second reading on the floor of the Senate.

Senator Sani, while leading the debate on the bill said the bill also seeks to empower the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to issue licenses and monitor privately owned agencies.

Sani said the operation in the informal sector was usually on a small scale with labour-intensive production and usually private ownership driven.

He said the participation of the Nigerian economy by the informal sector showed evidence of a violation of employee rights and non-implementation of labour regulations.

“Informal sector in Nigeria has practices that are not in conformity to the International Labour Organisation(ILO)best practices as ratified in its convention, notwithstanding that Nigerian is signatory to this conventions.

“There are still a lot of deficits in its implementation of these conventions, one of such area of concern relates to decent work deficit, decent work is work with fair and equal treatments, decent remuneration, and fair condition of employment, safety and social protection, opportunities for training and collective bargaining.”

He said the primary role of the bill was to regulate the sector to promote strategic objectives, promotion of rights at work, employment, social protection and social dialogue.

He said, on the contrary, many jobs in the informal labour market, still experience a decent work deficit, adding that employees in the informal sector were often seen as having no rights and are not treated fairly by their employers.

According to him, the bill seeks to correct all the ills against the workers.

“This bill empowers the National Director of Employment (NDE)to issue licence and monitor the activities of employment agencies throughout the country.

“The NDE shall receive an application from an agency who desires to function as an employment agency and issue licence having met the requirements and duly certified to play by the rules.

“The certification includes that there is no criminal case against such agency, that it maintains proper books of accounts among other rules.

Contributing, Sen Sabi Abdullahi (APC- Niger) said it was also important to ensure that the bill has provisions to protect employers as there have been instances where an employee treats the employer unfairly.

President of Senate Ahmad Lawan, thereafter, referred the bill to Committee on Labour and Productivity for further legislative input.

The committee is expected to return back in four weeks.


Senate moves to protect workers in informal sector

Senate moves to protect workers in informal sector

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