The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige, was over the weekend in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe elected Vice Chairperson of the African Regional Labour Administration Centre (ARLAC).
Regarded as a result of Nigeria’s demonstrated eminence in continental leadership, the election was the first since the formation of the regional labour body for the English Speaking African Countries in 1974.
Ngige who led Nigeria’s delegation to the 43rd ARLAC Governing Council Meeting and High Level Symposium on Fundamental Principles and Rights At Work, said the high regard for Nigeria in ARLAC, which also yielded one of the three Deputy Directorship of the interim management structure of the Organisation to Nigeria, was a loud tribute to the country’s unequalled contributions to the organisation station.
“You are aware that Zimbabwean has been the chairperson of ARLAC since formation by the virtue of the fact that its headquarters is domiciled in the country. However, Nigeria reasoned the need for full democratisation of the body to enhance freedom and encourage efficiency. While we ceded the chairmanship to Zimbabwe and Nigeria unanimously elected Vice, it stands that periodic elections which we galvanized support for, has replaced an era where Zimbabwe or any other country would appropriate such privilege as a right.
“The election shows a lot of respect, trust and faith in Nigeria’s leadership role in the continent. They appreciate our concern for Africa, our unity and our commitment to the economic and socio-political development of our continent and above all, our commitment to decent work practices where, Nigeria has domesticated almost all the ILO conventions.”
Ngige called on the Regional Labour Centre and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to intensify capacity building of labour administrators in order to fast track development among member nations.
“The dynamics of labour administration in the face of dwindling global economy makes a strong case for an increased capacity building of labour administrators to enable nations contain emerging development challenges, hence, the need for ARLAC and the ILO to intensify efforts in this direction, “ Ngige added.
He further pledged Nigeria’s continued support for the Regional Training Centre while requesting for an increased training of Nigeria’s labour officers as a reward for steadfastness and contributions. The Minister also informed the regional labour body of the commitment of the present administration of President Buhari to broaden the democratic framework governing government/labour relations as well as administration, insisting that Nigeria would remain committed to the ideals of the ILO.