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FG moves against casualisation of workers



Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, has disclosed the federal government’s plan to come up with a policy position on the casualisation of workers in the country by some employers of labour.

Ngige, who spoke at the public hearing organised by the Senate Commitee on Labour, chaired by Senator Godiya Akwashiki (APC Nasarawa North)
on a bill seeking for prohibition of casualisation in Nigeria, said that no reasonable government would allow the inhumanity to continue in the name of employment.

The minister, however, pleaded with the committee to stay action on the bill to enable the federal government consult with other stakeholders in the labour sector on it so that the law that would come out of it will be acceptable to all.

“The bill is very tricky and we must manage it in such a way that both employers, workers other stakeholders including the government will buy into it when the bill is eventually passed into law,” Ngige said.

He decribed casualisation of employment in Nigeria as worrisome while accusing the banking sector, oil and gas industries and the communication sector as major perpetrators of casualisation of workers in the country.

Ngige added that most of the companies that are engaging in casualisation of workers are doing so at high risk.

“Research have shown that most of the frauds in the banking sector are perpetrated by casualised staff because they believe that their jobs are not secured,” he stressed.

Also, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari who was represented by the Group Executive Director, Corporate Services, Aisha Farida Katagum urged the committee to give the NNPC some time to study and review the bill before taking a position.

She stressed that with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, the NNPC is currently undergoing some reforms which may address the issues raised in the bill.

Katagum also dismissed the fear expressed by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC that there would be massive sack of workers in NNPC inview of the on going reforms in the oil ànd gas sector.

“My Group Managing Director plays value on workers and the reforms in the oil and gas sector will be carried out with human face,” Katagum said.

Earlier in his submission, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP Ondo Central), said the casualisation of Nigerian graduates in the Nigerian Labour Market has become a subject of great concern as more workers continue to groan under this immoral strategy of cutting cost by employers rendering them inferior to their counterparts in other countries of the world.

Senator Akinyelure also listed the objectives of the bill to include protecting vulnerable workers against unfair labour practices by way of casualisation, imposing a legal duty on employers of labour both in private and public sector establishments to convert casual employment to permanent status among others.

In his closing remarks, the chairman of the committee, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, (APC Nasarawa North), said all the stakeholders will be given more time to review the bill adding that the committee will later invite them to a public hearing for further legislative action on the bill.

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