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IAP, ILO partner to strengthen work environment, boost productivity

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
23 August 2022   |   2:31 am
The promotion of industrial relations is a critical part of effective labour market governance for the prevention and resolution of labour disputes to enhance workers productivity and national development...

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

The promotion of industrial relations is a critical part of effective labour market governance for the prevention and resolution of labour disputes to enhance workers productivity and national development, the Chief Registrar of Industrial Arbitration Panel, Abdulhamid Ibrahim, has said.

The IAP boss, who stated this in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a three-day workshop on International Labour Standards and disputes resolutions in Nigeria, jointly organised by the IAP and International Labour Organisation (ILO), declared that no nation could develop in an atmosphere of industrial crisis and work stoppages.

He argued that ideally, disputes arising within the workplace could be prevented from escalating into formal crises with the prompt intervention of third parties, including state institutions, saying strengthening dispute prevention and resolution mechanisms within workplaces is of fundamental importance.

Ibrahim added that it is necessary to consider the various arrangements outside the workplace that would assist employers and employees to resolve disputes through processes such as, voluntary conciliation and arbitration, without resorting to the court system unless it is unavoidable.

The IAP Registrar stated that the provision of a voluntary, free-of-charge and expeditious mechanism for labour disputes settlement, as suggested by ILO standards, is crucial to industrial peace and harmony of any nation.

He stated that the purpose of the workshop was to provide a unique opportunity for members of IAP and its management staff to acquire sound knowledge and experience in modern skills regarding labour disputes prevention and resolutions in line with international labour standards.

Ibrahim stressed that the workshop will also enable members to identify how to improve the effectiveness of their own labour dispute systems in view of the enlarged role envisaged for the IAP in the ongoing labour law reforms in Nigeria.

He maintained that the IAP represents the best Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) institution with tripartite structure that could provide a voluntary and expeditious labour dispute resolution mechanism in Nigeria, especially now that the three constitutional alterations have made the National Industrial Court, a court of superior records.

In her intervention, the Director, ILO Country Office, Abuja, Phala Vanesa, said that the consolidation of social peace is a condition of productivity and competitiveness of economies, a way of thinking together about how to distribute the fruits of the growth.

She held that the process of production of goods and services generates problems all the time and the actors must find solutions in order to let the process go on.

“The main way to find solutions is social dialogue. Social consultations and bargaining offer opportunities to social partners and governments to create the conditions of productivity or competitiveness. Through social dialogue people interact efficiently to protect their particular and common interests. Social dialogue becomes a useful tool of the governance of the labour market,” she said.

The ILO country director insisted that social dialogue helps actors to implement vision and goals and one of those goals is decent work for all, saying reaching decent work by social dialogue is an honourable way of humanisation of industrial relations, a fair way of making sustainable growth and progress.

She added: “The need for the promotion of social dialogue has been imposed on the labour market actors of the sub-region as an instrument of social and economic governance to not only create the confidence necessary for the attractiveness of investment and the productivity of the region’s economy, but also to curb the various social crises that have marked and are still marking the working and production relations in our zone.”

Earlier in a keynote address, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, described the workshop as one of the ongoing reforms in his ministry to expose members of the IAP to fully understand the responsibilities of their positions.

He described arbitration as one of the statutory stages in trade dispute resolution commencing with internal mechanisms where they exist in any organisation, proceeding to mediation, conciliation, arbitration and adjudication by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, with the Appeal Court as the final arbiter.

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