Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, says labour matters command high priority in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The information is in a statement signed by the minister’s Special Adviser on Media, Mr Akpandem James, on Wednesday in Abuja.
James stated that Udoma made the remark when he received a team from International Labour Organisation (ILO) led by Ms Cynthia Samuel-Olajuwon, the ILO Assistant Director and Regional Director for Africa.
He added that the team’s visit was to brief Udoma on the implications of the just released World Social Protection Report to Nigeria, as well as intimate him about
the centenary celebration of the organisation planned for 2019.
He quoted the minister as saying“Federal Government attached high premium to labour issues, especially human capital development, as stated in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“Investing in people is one of the three broad objectives of the plan.
“ERGP is an ambitious four-year plan developed to dramatically turn around the economic fortunes of the country.
“It is aimed at increasing the productivity of the Nigerian economy by improving on human capacity, as well as encourage private sector investment.”
The minister explained that the objectives of the plan were to restore growth, invest in the people and build a globally competitive economy.
Udoma said government was determined to pursue its human capital investment efforts through social inclusion, job creation and youth empowerment, as well as improved human capacity.
The minister added that Nigeria would draw from the expertise of the ILO on labour matters, noting that the country had been active in the organisation’s programmes as exemplified by the level of representation in the global body.
He thanked the organisation for choosing Nigeria as one of the 10 countries in the world where the Global Social Protection Report was launched.
He assured the organisation of Federal Government ‘s support, saying “ you can count on our continuing support and strong collaboration.”
Earlier, Samuel-Olajuwon had told the minister that Nigeria was chosen as one of the countries to launch the organisation’s global report because of its importance to ILO globally and Africa in particular.
The report was launched in Abuja on Dec. 12, 2017.
She said apart from the fact that Nigeria had strong representation at ILO, noting that it was the first country in Africa where the world body’s office was established.
The official said the organisation’s collaboration with Nigeria was anchored on Medium Term Framework which emphasised issues of employment, social protection and labour market governance issues, among others.