By Funmi Komolafe
Genevaâ€”The Federal Governmentâ€™s bail-out to distressed banks and intervention funds for key sectors of the economy are part of the governmentâ€™s plan to address the economicÂ and social challenges arising from the globalÂ financial crisis in the country.
The Labour and Productivity Minister, Chief Emeka Wogu, saidÂ this while addressing the plenary session of the 99th sessionÂ of the International Labour Conference, ILO,Â in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday evening.
He said, â€œThe provision of various stimulus packages for economic recovery were undertaken under the directive of our President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. TheseÂ include the bail-out for ailing banks, intervention fund for key sub-sectors of the economy as well as the infrastructural development fund for accelerated socio-economic development.â€
The ministerÂ addedÂ that, â€œthe Millennium Development Goals , MDGs, packageÂ for massive job creation and poverty alleviation through the National Directorate of Employment,Â NDE,Â National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP, and Small and MediumÂ Enterprises Development Agency, SMEDAN, and othersâ€ are all designed to create and sustain jobs.
On jobs, he said, government had prepared â€œa data base of all unemployed Nigerians as well as establishment of a National Electronic Labour Exchange.â€
He also spoke of efforts to sustainingÂ industrial peace which are, â€œ strengthening of national institutions concerned with social dialogue, collective bargaining, national productivity and social security.”
On child labour, Wogu said, â€œNigeria notes with great concern the rising incidence of this scourge , especially in sub-Saharan Africa.â€
Therefore, he said, â€œ We associate ourselves with the efforts of the ILO in combating this menace.Â In this respect, Nigeria has not only ratified the relevant ILO Conventionsâ€ but has also put in place other measures toÂ eliminate the worstÂ forms of child labour.
The minister noted â€œ with appreciation the role of the ILO in situating employment issuesÂ at the heart of the recovery processâ€.
He said, â€œ the endorsementÂ of the Global Jobs Pact by regional and multilateral agencies as a tool for combating the devastating effects of theÂ global economic and financial crisis is already manifesting in variousÂ national development effortsâ€.
This he said is being implemented by the National Directorate of Employment but he sought the technical assistance from the ILO toÂ strengthen theÂ NDE.