FG promises to outlaw workforce casualisation
The Minister of Employment, Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige has indicated that casualisation of Labour would soon be a thing of the past in Nigeria.
He said the Federal Executive Council would soon come up with a policy directive on the actualisation of employment in the country.
Ngige gave the indication in his address at a one-day public hearing on the Prohibition of Casualisation in Nigeria Establishment Bill 2021, organised by the Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity headed by Senator Godiya Akwashiki at the National Assembly in Abuja.
The minister pleaded with the committee to stay action on the Bill to enable the Federal Government to consult with other stakeholders in the labour sector so that the law that would come out of it will be acceptable to all.
“The Bill is very tricky and we must manage it in such a way that employers, workers and other stakeholders including the government will buy into it when the bill is eventually passed into law”, Ngige said.
The minister also described the actualisation of employment in Nigeria as worrisome while accusing the banking sector, oil and gas industries and the communication sector as major perpetrators of casualisation of workers in the country. He added that no reasonable government will allow such inhumanity to continue in the name of employment.
Ngige also said that most of the companies that are engaging in casualisation of workers are doing so at high risk.
According to him, research has shown that casualised staff perpetrates most of the frauds in the banking sector because they believe that their jobs are not secure.
Also, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, who was represented by the Group Executive Director, Corporate Services, Aisha Farida Katagum, urged the committee to give the NNPC some time to study and review the bill before taking a position.
She stressed that with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the NNPC is currently undergoing reforms, which will address the issues raised in the bill.
Katagum also dismissed the fear expressed by the Nigeria Labour Congress that there would be mass sack of workers in NNPC in view of ongoing reforms in the oil and gas sector.
Earlier in his submission, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Ayo Akinyelure from Ondo State, said casualisation of Nigerian graduates has become a subject of great concern as more workers continue to groan under the strategy of cutting costs by employers, rendering them inferior to their counterparts in other countries of the world.
Akinyelure also listed the objectives of the bill to include, protecting vulnerable workers against unfair labour practices by way of casualisation, imposing a legal duty on employers of labour both in private and public sector establishments to convert casual employment to permanent status among others.
In his closing remarks, the chairman of the committee, Godiya Akwashiki, said all the stakeholders will be given some time to review the bill, adding that the committee will later invite them to a public hearing for further legislative action on the bill.