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FEC approves amendment of ‘obsolete’ labour laws to align with international standards

FEC approves amendment of ‘obsolete’ labour laws to align with international standards
April 20
15:02 2023

The federal executive council (FEC) has approved the amendment of the country’s labour laws to meet the standard of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Chris Ngige, minister for labour and employment, said the council, presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, granted its approval to the amendment on Wednesday.

The minister, while speaking with journalists after the weekly meeting, described Nigeria’s current labour laws as “obsolete” and not in tandem with international standards.

He said the proposed amendment would include the “occupational safety and health bill,” and “labour institutional bill” that would establish the industrial arbitration panel (IAP) into a commission, among others.

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“The first memorandum was to seek the council’s approval for us to amend the labour laws of the country,” Ngige said.

“The labour laws of the country, as presently being operated are really obsolete laws. And the ILO has pointed out that we needed to bring our laws to be concurrent with international labour standards and conventions and principles at work.

“So, we had to do this. It is a long journey, which was started in 2001 by a previous administration, and at a point, the bills were sent to the national assembly for enactment into law in 2007/2008; only one came out after the five bills.”

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‘WE CONSULTED TUC, NLC, NECA ON THE AMENDMENTS’

Ngige said the ministry worked on the amendment based on the recommendation of ILO and also consulted with the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).

He said the bills would be transmitted to the national assembly for a public hearing before going to the president for assent.

“The ILO provided us with technical assistance. And we did what we call social dialogue, and validation meetings. It was tripartite in nature, with the trade unions council, the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Employers Association (NECA) and the rest of them all. So we agreed that this should be the final product,” the minister said.

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“We looked at it again last June 2022, because there were so many grey areas. And the final product is what we brought here now for council to approve.”

The minister said the goal is to “align properly with international conventions and statutes on labour matters”.

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