The Federal Government has expressed its determination to create more jobs as well as maintain already existing workforce in order to tackle the rising wave of unemployment in the country

Haltonourable Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Ckukwuemaka Wogu made this known at the 8th National Labour Relations Summit and Award Ceremony, which took place at Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin, Kwara State.

In his Keynote address, Chief Wogu disclosed that in line with the present administration’s drive to address the lingering problem of youth unemployment in the country, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR) has constituted a job creation committee that will commence action in December 2012.

Giving the assurance that government is committed to curbing unemployment in the country, Wogu emphasized that the President Goodluck Jonathan administration is not resting on its oars to involve diverse actors and interests groups in the Nigerian industrial relations system, particularly labour and employers.

The Executive Governor of Abia State, His Excellency, Chief Theodore Ahamefule Orji who was chairman at the summit, said for any Government to be modest in curving problems of poverty alleviation and economic development, the issue of social security policy which has suddenly taken the position of human right must be addressed.

altRepresented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Nkwa Ayu Nkwa, Orji stated how his administration has been labour friendly, stressing that apart from being minimum wage compliance; the state has been able to employ a good number of graduates as a measure to reduce unemployment in the country and the state in particular.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director-General of the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Dr. J.A Olanrewaju said this year’s summit with the theme “Social Policy, Labour Relations And The Transformation Agenda: Extending Social Protection In Nigeria was carefully chosen to match strategic National Development efforts.

Dr. Olanrewaju, maintained that several organizational development initiatives embarked upon by the Institute in the past have been able to attract considerable achievements like the approval by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to award a National Diploma in Industrial and Labour Relations, the foundation laying of the 20-room hostel facility donated to the Institute by the Executive Governor of Kwara State, His Excellency, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed as well as the enveloping of 1000 seater auditorium and the increase in the capacity of staff training, research and publication.

On his part, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed who was Special Guest of Honour at the event, said the challenges and opportunities created by the global economic melt-down demands that the nation must adopt sensitive and integrated solutions in handling emerging issues that may threaten the social and economic stability.

Represented by the Kwara State Head of Service, Alhaji Dabarako Mohammed, the Executive Governor disclosed that Kwara State has not witnessed any major Industrial disharmony due to the cordial relationship between labour and the state.

Two papers were presented at the summit to include; “From Policy To Practice: Linking Social Protection To National Development” by Dr. Tunji Olaopa, Federal Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Abuja and “Social Policy, Labour Relations And The Transformation Agenda: Issues, Prospects, and Challenges of Social Protection in Nigeria delivered by Professor Festus Iyayi of the Department of Business Administration, University of Benin, Edo State.

The Award of “Fellow of the National Institute for Labour Studies” was conferred on His Excellency, Chief Theodore Ahamefule Oriji, Prof. Tayo fashoyin, Dr. (Miss) Ngozi Olejeme, Alhaji Shuaibu A. Oyedokun, Aremo Olanrewaju Sokunbi, Comrade S.O.Z. Ejiofor, and Mrs. Omolara Olanrewaju.

Naseer Saeed Ateigba