Ngige urges African Regional Labour Centre to adopt active policies to tackle unemployment
Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, has urged member countries of the African Regional Labour Centre ( ARLAC) to adopt active policies and programmes to tackle unemployment and poverty in the region.
The minister said that the approval of the active policies and programmes would tackle unemployment and poverty in order to check the consequential social tension and violent crimes.
Ngige however said that that poverty reduction would easily be achieved by harnessing the efforts of various agencies and departments in charged with the strategic objective of social protection.
According to him, Africa is replete with tales of worrisome level of child labour, human trafficking and exploitation, irregular migration, youth restiveness, terrorism, armed banditry and arson among others.
“Addressing this as the theme of this high level symposium could not have therefore come at a more auspicious time, “he said.
He however, called for the faithful implementation of the pro-people development model as articulated by the Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Guy Ryder during the International Youth Conference in Abuja last year.
He noted that the pro-people development model includes the pro-employment and economic policies, policy investments in education and skills, promotion of youth entrepreneurship and employment.
He said that others are labour market policies as well as respect and protection of the rights of the young persons.
Ngige said that the Buhari administration has relatively achieved a sync with the ILO’s development template through the strategic operationalisation of an integrated employment and empowerment strategy in the national development paradigm.
“The pro-employment macroeconomic policies for job creation ought to be a multi-sectoral agenda of government, traversing ministries and agencies.
“This is exactly what the Federal Government of Nigeria is currently doing by setting clear targets on key economic sectors with high propensity for job creation.
“This is in the areas of agriculture, mining, works and housing, trade and investments as well as in special agencies like the National Social Investment Programme as the fulcrum for job creation,” he added.
The minister also noted that notwithstanding the challenges, Nigeria has increased focal investment in education and skills acquisition in order to contain the mismatch between educational skills and demands of the labour market.
“We are working to align the prerequisites of the labour market with the capacity of the labour force in a way to create synergy and ease responsiveness to innovations.
“Our Ministry of Labour and Employment is currently spearheading the shift of emphasis from white collar job to the growing opportunities that abound in the blue collar market in line with the changing world of work,” Ngige said.
He further said there was an urgent need for member countries to direct energy on the implementation of the decent work priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals as articulated in the Abidjan declaration of the 14thAfrican Regional meeting, held in Cote d’Ivoire in December 2019.
He equally, commended the government of Ethiopia for the supportive and coordinating role it has been playing for the Africa group since last year Nigeria has been in saddle as the chair of the Government Group of the ILO Governing Board.
“We hope that as we approach the next elections into the governing board which is due in June 2020, those that will take over the mantle of representing the continent will work harder, perform better and be able to surpass the achievements of the present board,” he pleaded.
He finally called for support for Nigeria and other African countries already nominated for positions in the ILO Governing board in the election scheduled for June.
NAN reports that aside being the serving chairman of the government group of the Governing Board, Nigeria was also nominated in 2019 by the African group for election as a titular representative in the Governing Board, a position it last held over a decade ago.
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