Nigeria assumes Presidency of ILO Government Group

Helen Shok Jok, Abuja 

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Nigeria on Thursday, assumed the Presidency of the Government Group of the Governing Board (GB) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) at its ongoing 337 session in Geneva, Switzerland.

With this, Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, is now the President of the Group.

A statement in Abuja by the Deputy Director Press and Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr Charles Akpan, said the Minister was handed over the office, domiciled in the ILO’s Headquarters by Nigeria’s Labour Attaché in Geneva, Mr. Aniefiok Essa who has been overlooking it on behalf of the Nigeria Mission since June 2019.

Addressing the Governing Board plenary, Dr Ngige pushed for the democratization of the ILO Governing Board, throwing his weight behind the Africa Group position that the democratization process, started since 1986 be fast forwarded to assist the Tripartite Working Group established by the 108thsession of the International Labour Conference in June this year.

He said that though the ratification of the democratization amendments has been yielding acceptance among members since it commenced thirty-three years ago, the organization has unfinished business as regards the democratization of its structures to ensure fair representation of all regions and equity among member States.

According to the Minister, “we are however encouraged that the continuous promotion of this ratification is not only a permanent item on our GB agenda whose report is expected from the DG, but also an opportunity to constantly remind our members of the unfinished business of democratization of the Governing body of our organization”.

Ngige also asked the Director General of the ILO Mr Guy Ryder  to clarify the ambiguities surrounding the Tripartite Working Group such as the status and source of the powers of the group, its size, who and what qualifies the membership, composition, duration of assignment as well as the terms of reference.

Based on the strength of these questions which obviously threw up new issues, according to the statement, the Director General had to adjourn the session while adjusting its timetable to enable his office to critically examine and provide adequate answers.