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HuCaPAN decry poor treatment of employees at workplace

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Human Capital Providers Association of Nigeria, (HuCaPAN), has cried out over the indecent way some employers treat their workers, describing it a violation of labour standards.

Speaking at the yearly general meeting of HuCaPAN in Lagos, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr. Clement Illoh, said protection of the fundamental human rights and absence of social protection at work were other impediments to decent work.

He noted that these have largely led to inability of some employers to retain their workers and pay minimum wage.

He advised private employment agencies to comply with labour laws by enforcing safety in workplaces, ensuring employee compensation and payment of minimum wages.

While pointing out the role of HuCaPAN in promoting decent work agenda, he said, “To what extent are you training your people? There are now workers without boundaries as a result of globalisation. How are you moving with respect to the new forms of work? To what extent are you contributing to sanctions, monitoring ad rewards for employment?”

The permanent secretary commended the association for being very effective despite the economic challenges in the country.

According to him, the ministry has maintained a cordial relationship with the HuCaPAN since inception and has participated in the formation of critical laws that govern its members.

The President of HuCaPAN, Neye Enemigin, said, “government must also modernise infrastructure and provide massive employment in addition to just allocation of resources and shift primary focus to the economic front to wriggle out of crippling recession that the nation had found herself.

He lamented that since the nation’s economy slipped into recession in 2016, for the first time in many years, all major economic indices had been on the downside such as two per cent growth, over 18.5 per cent inflation rate 14 per cent unemployment rate.

Enemigin said: “The primary cause of this scenario is the dwindling oil revenues in the last two years (caused by both falling price of oil as well as reduced production), and the fact that we did not diversify the economy when it was buoyant. The lower oil prices, which reduced our foreign exchange earnings, undermined the Naira, thus causing a steep rise in the cost of goods and services. To wriggle out of recession, government must ensure just allocation of resources and shift primary focus to the economic front. The decline of oil prices revealed the structural weaknesses of our national economy. Strategic objectives during this period of economic uncertainty must be to re-engineer the economy bottom-up, diversify the economic base, strengthen our industrial base, modernise infrastructure and provide employment.

“I will like to give two examples on diversification which is the surest way out of recession – Oil and Agriculture. On oil, our emphasis should be on building new refineries and fixing existing ones. Imagine if we are refining our entire petroleum products requirement locally and even exporting refined products to neighbouring countries, we will reduce by 40% our demand for Foreign Exchange, forex, strengthen the naira, create direct and indirect jobs for our people, some by-products from crude will grow industries like petrochemical, plastics among others.

The same scenario applies to Agriculture, where Government is putting half-hearted measures. Capital vote for Agriculture in the 2016 budget was 1.6% and 20171.8%, respectively. This does not show serious commitments. We should be able to feed ourselves and stop the huge foreign exchange going out for the importation of Rice, Frozen Chicken, Fish, Eggs, and a host of others.

“We need to reduce our consumption of imported products, grow local consumption and fix electricity generation and distribution urgently if we must get out of recession,” he said.



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