The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said that Nigeria was lagging behind in filing its reports on Labour practices in the country to the International Labour body and therefore need to retrace its steps in line with practices on International Labour standard.
But the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) attributed the delay in filing such reports to the absence of the Nigeria Labour Advisory Council which is responsible for advising the government on very critical Labour decisions which has been lacking in the country for the past three years.
Specialist in Workers Activities ILO office to Nigeria, David Kwable Dorkenoo who disclosed this when an ILO delegation visited the headquarters of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Abuja said the Nigerian government was aware of need to be up to date in its reports and feels that it has obligation to be able to fulfil these requirement.
He said the government wrote to the International Labour body to send a delegation to support them, saying “we are here to build the capacity of the ministry and other stakeholders
“So for the pass two days there has been a workshop were the ministry and other stakeholders and some othere relevant government ministries.
So they have gone through the training program and they have also looked at the previous report which is outstanding and some work has being produced as a result of the meeting
“But as part of the training program, the team is also of here to interact with the social partners to know the key issues of the development of the laboour scene from various perspectives so that they would be well informed. So the team is here to listens to issues in Nigeria as regard to the NLC.”
Addressing the deflation, President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba called on the government to immediately set the council, adding that the absence of the Council has hampered the smooth running of Labour issues in the country.
The Labour Advisory Council is a statutory organ of government made up of representative of government to Labour and employers and is supposed to work as a tripartite committee to handle Labour issues in the country.
Wabba said that the National Labour Advisory Council was necessary to ensure that Nigeria drive the process of tripartite consultation on labour matters.
According to him, the Council has not met for the past three years because it has been non existent which is partly responsible for why Nigeria was in arrears of reporting on major conventions at the annual International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva Switzerland.
He said “We demand that the National Advisory Council should be constituted immediately so that it can fill in the gap of advising in this important respect. At the last ILC, we have said yes, it is true that we are in arrears of reporting on major conventions, particularly conventions that has to do with freedom of association and the right to organised.
“We have also reported some new areas of violation, basically on the issue of review of the labour laws where we have actually faulted the process and because the draft laws that we have are not only obsolete, but they have not actually accommodated the issues that have being raised by the committee of experts. ‘’he said.
Wabba said further that the current labour laws which are five in number have been doctored and Labour was called by government on the even of the ILC conference to come and adopt the doctored laws through a letter from the Ministry of Labour and Employment inviting the organised labour for a revalidation of the five labour laws.
“Looking at the bills we found out that we have not participated in the process of coming up with the draft as required by law. The process ought to be tripartite which is why the National Labour Advisory Council is important and it is a platform form that should be used to drive the process of the tripartite consultation, ‘’he said.
Wabba said the National Labour Advisory Council was also an important forum to look at reports and adapt it before it was sent to ILO office in Geneva.
In her remarks, Specialist on ILO standards and Labour Law, Mrs Sofia Oliveria, said the visit was to build the capacity of the government and other stakeholders in the country.