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HomePoliticsOccupational Safety, Health Top Agenda As FG Begins Review Of Labour Laws

Occupational Safety, Health Top Agenda As FG Begins Review Of Labour Laws

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By Babajide Okeowo

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige has disclosed that occupational safety and health is top on the agenda as the Federal Government takes steps to review its labour laws to meet global standards.

Ngige disclosed this while receiving a delegation led by Mrs. Kathleen FitzGbbon, Deputy Chief Mission, the U.S in Nigeria, during a visit on Thursday in Abuja.

The Minister said the Federal Government had done so much in the labour sector, especially in the areas of occupational safety and health. He said the Occupational Safety and Health Department in the ministry had engaged in labour inspections to ensure that working places conform to decent work standards.

“We also have two types of insurance for workers. We have insurance against death, which is called Group Life Insurance. We also have Employee Compensation Act, by which a worker is insured against any accident, injuries, and death that may occur in the course of work. `This is an agency of this ministry, which is Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) that is managing it,” he said.

Ngige added that a steering committee had been set up for the elimination of child trafficking and slave labour, with its secretariat domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. He said

Nigeria has a Child Labour Policy, noting that efforts were being made to bring on board, a new Action Plan to replace the Action Plan that expired in 2017 before COVID-19 interfered.

“We also have the National Steering Committee on Elimination of Child Labour and in the various 36 states. We have the state committees. So, we are hoping that by next year, we shall launch it. We will do so after the validation” the minister added.

He said the review was necessary for the line with the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). “We are amending our laws to become contemporaneous with what obtains globally.

We have done a Labour Law review. We will send it to parliament. ILO is assisting us. But, we are doing what we can with our small resources” the Minister said.

In her remarks, FitzGbbon said her delegation came for information from the ministry for their end of year report on what Nigeria was doing on the elimination of Trafficking in Persons and Child Labour. She said the visit was also to find out the kind of aid that Nigeria needed in combating these menaces before reviewing its policy on Nigeria on the two issues.

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