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FG Make Moves To End Labour Casualization

… As Ngige Carpet Banks, Others For Encouraging Practice

The federal government has taken steps to end worker casualization in the country by publishing a policy directive on job casualization.

Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Productivity, made the announcement during a one-day public hearing on the Prohibition of Casualisation in Nigeria Establishment Bill, 2021, hosted by the Senate Committee on Employment, Labour, and Productivity.

The Minister expressed concern over casualization of work, telling legislators that perpetrators include the banking, oil and gas, and communication sectors.

Most organizations that engage in the practice, he claims, do so at great risk, adding that “research has shown that most frauds in the banking sector are done by casualised personnel because they believe their employment are not secure.”

This came as he stated that no sane government will allow inhumanity to continue in the guise of employment, and that the federal government is working around the clock to put an end to the problem.

Senator Ngige also pleaded with the committee to postpone action on the Bill to allow the federal government to speak with relevant labor stakeholders in order to develop a policy that is acceptable to everybody.

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

In his presentation before the Committee, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), 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 that there would be a massive sack of workers in the oil giant due to the ongoing reforms in the gas sector.

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

The Sponsor of the Bill, Senator Ayo Akinyelure (APC Ondo State) identified labour casualisation as a subject of great concern, insisting that “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 further 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, Committee Chairman, Senator Godiya Akwashiki said all the stakeholders will be given more time to review the legislation as the committee hopes to invite them to a public hearing for further action.

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