By Victor Ahiuma-Young
FEDERAL Government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has stepped up the monitoring and enforcement of standard operating procedures in industries across the nation to promote the safety of workers and enhance decent work.
Ngige gave the indication in Abuja, Transcorp Hilton, during the flag-off of the 2017/2018 Integrated Labour Inspection and Enforcement Services, NILIES.
According to him, “The essence of the Integrated Labour Inspection is to ensure that both employers and workers right as enshrined under the fundamental Principle and rights at work both in the International Labour Organization convention and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are protected. Through this, optimum productivity will be assured and both the workers and their employers will benefit. Without employers, there will be no employee; hence the essence of this activity is to strike a balance between the rights of the workers and that of their employers. Where the right of one stops, that is where that of the others begin.”
The Minister noted that the flag-off of the 2017/2018 NILIES was a step in the right direction, commending the management of Transcorp Hilton for tapping into the abundant benefits of the Employees Compensation Act under which the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, operates to safeguard workers in their workplaces and compensate injuries sustained in the course of work.
According to him, “the employer can also draw compensation for the times the worker is absent from work as result of disability. It benefits the worker just as it benefits the employer.”
He added that the visit to other factories would continue with the Minister of State, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and Directors leading the team to other parts of the federation.
In his address, the Managing Director of Transcorp Hilton, Valentine Ozigbo said the visit was a veritable opportunity to tell the corporation’s short story as the pride of Nigeria and a good example of what privatization should be.
“This is the heart of the city because this is where everything converges and we have won awards even at the continental level. I am hoping that at the end of the visit, the fact that we are the best in terms of occupational safety and health will get more applause,” he said.