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Our recovery plan is job-centred, says govt

By Funmi Komolafe
Geneva—The Federal Government’s bail-out to distressed banks and intervention funds for key sectors of the economy are part of the government’s plan to address the economic  and social challenges arising from the global  financial crisis in the country.

The Labour and Productivity Minister, Chief Emeka Wogu, said  this while addressing the plenary session of the 99th session  of the International Labour Conference, ILO,  in Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday evening.

He said, “The provision of various stimulus packages for economic recovery were undertaken under the directive of our President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. These  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.”

The minister  added  that, “the Millennium Development Goals , MDGs, package  for massive job creation and poverty alleviation through the National Directorate of Employment,  NDE,  National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP, and Small and Medium  Enterprises Development Agency, SMEDAN, and others” are all designed to create and sustain jobs.

On jobs, he said, government had prepared “a data base of all unemployed Nigerians as well as establishment of a National Electronic Labour Exchange.”

He also spoke of efforts to sustaining  industrial peace which are, “ strengthening of national institutions concerned with social dialogue, collective bargaining, national productivity and social security.”

On child labour, Wogu said, “Nigeria notes with great concern the rising incidence of this scourge , especially in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Therefore, he said, “ We associate ourselves with the efforts of the ILO in combating this menace.  In this respect, Nigeria has not only ratified the relevant ILO Conventions” but has also put in place other measures to  eliminate the worst  forms of child labour.

The minister noted “ with appreciation the role of the ILO in situating employment issues  at the heart of the recovery process”.

He said, “ the endorsement  of the Global Jobs Pact by regional and multilateral agencies as a tool for combating the devastating effects of the  global economic and financial crisis is already manifesting in various  national development efforts”.

This he said is being implemented by the National Directorate of Employment but he sought the technical assistance from the ILO to  strengthen the  NDE.


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