By Ibrahim Wuyo, Kaduna
The Director-General of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) Ilorin, Comrade Issa Aremu has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for being a signatory to the new global push for countries including Nigeria to increase national education budget by 50 per cent over the next two years and up to 100% by 2025.
In a statement on Sunday, Aremu said President Buhari at the recently concluded Global Education Summit in London, United Kingdom had joined other African leaders to brainstorm on how to transform the education system through a progressive increase in annual domestic education expenditure.
Comrade Aremu spoke at the weekend during a courtesy call on members of Governing Council of the Institute pertaining to the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as part of the efforts to reposition the Institute for improved labour education for Nigerian workers.
The 8- person member of the Governing Council led by its chairman, veteran labour leader Chief Comrade Frank Kokori was also hosted by the TUC leadership led by President Quadri Olaleye.
The Director-General observed that education being pivotal to poverty eradication and building of an inclusive sustainable economy deserved adequate sustainable government funding. He said funding education should be inclusive of research and education institutes established to build necessary capacity for the country’s workforce in the areas of workplace conflict resolutions and productivity improvement.
Comrade Aremu disclosed that the Institute was set to realize its objective as the foremost training Institution on labour and industrial relations issues and regional centre of excellence in labour studies in West Africa, adding however that it was imperative that the funding of the Institute was improved for effective educational service delivery. He blamed recurring labour disputes in all sectors of the economy on what he called the “knowledge gap” on critical labour market issues among employers and employees. He said labour education must be seen “as a strategic success factor for motivation, improved productivity and national development”.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba while making a welcome remark, said there was an urgent need to resuscitate the labour Institute going by emerging trends in labour struggles globally. He commended the new management of the Institute for the new open-door policy for partnership, a development he said that would help build capacity for labour leaders. He suggested areas of possible partnership with the Institute to include broadening social-economic research and documentation, appraisal of contemporary challenges facing unionism and bridging the skill gaps for youth employability.
MINILS was commissioned in 1983 by late President Shehu Shagari to contribute meaningfully to national development through regular capacity building training for the country’s workforce, organized trade unions, organized employers of labour and government officials on critical labour market issues.
The objective is to promote labour-management relations, best practices and industrial harmony for sustainable economic development through informed education about complex labour market issues. Since its establishment, (MINILS) has trained a number of workers and employers from both public and private sectors. The training with certification had helped in providing a conducive and harmonious environment to implement successful governments’ developmental agenda over the years.
Meanwhile, in a related development both the managements of Micheal Imoudu National Institute for labour studies, (MINILS) Ilorin and National Institute for Security Studies ( NISS) Bwari Abuja had reached an understanding to deepen partnership in areas of curriculum development, exchange of policy ideas and resource fellows to enhance the service delivery of the two agencies.
Speaking at the opening of the 78th meeting of the Governing Council of MINILS in Bwari Abuja last Wednesday, both the commandant of the NISS, Mr Saheed Adeleke and Comrade Issa Aremu the Director-General of MINILS agreed to periodic peer review of activities to share experiences in the institution building.