ILO indicts Nigeria for not adhering to fair gender representation at Confab – Wabba

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has indicted Nigeria for not adhering to its policy of fair gender representation to its delegations to the annual International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland

Mr. Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC), disclosed this while speaking at the Nigeria National Preparatory Meeting for the 2018 International Labour Conference on Monday in Abuja.

The 2018 International Labour Conference starts on May 28 through to June 8 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Wabba who is also a Titular member of the ILO Governing Board, said that the ILO has insisted on a minimum of 30 

per cent women representation in the delegations to its annual conference.

“From next session, the issue of gender representation will be top most.

“It was an issue that was discussed at the last Governing Board meeting and was agreed that the minimum acceptable will be 30 percent women representation.

“We are working towards equal representation.

“They said that Nigeria is a country that has not respected that provision.

“From 2019, the Governing Board has made it mandatory that all the delegations, workers, employers and Government must reflect this very sensitive issue of gender representation. Many countries have actually exceeded that provision, ’’he said.

He however said the meeting was important as it enable Nigeria delegation discuss and take a common position on issues to be discussed during the conference, especially as it relates to goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goal which deals with the decent work and the future of work.

He said Nigeria currently has the largest delegation going to the ILC from across the world, saying “I think that it is important that we are able to fit into the ILC system where we work and participate in various committees.

“Participating in this meeting in the last two years has enriched our participation, but we can do better. Many of our delegates participated in committee meetings last year, but not up to half of our delegation, but the participation has been very helpful. Even though we have gained some mileage, we can do better.

“Nigeria is going as a delegation and so, the image of all of us and the constituents we represent is very key because whatever happens, Nigeria is the country that will be referred to and not the constituents.

“So, we should try to project our country and Organisation in a better light and our contributions must be positive and address those clear issues that the country will be out to address.

“The first week of the conference is essentially about the work of the various committees and decisions will be taken in the second week. So, let us know where we can make impact because where preparations are made and decision to be taken and we are no where to be found, it does not portray us as people that are serious, ‘’he said.

Speaking, Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said Nigeria’s active participation at the 107th session of ILC is crucial based on the import of items lined up for discussion at the conference, which cut across key aspects of labour administration.

He said it is important for Nigeria to develop and articulate interventions that would make meaningful and positive impact on deliberations and decisions that will take place at the Conference.

“The ability to arrive at common ground on all interventions would go a long way to ensure a successful outing for Nigeria”, he said.

Ngige made reference to the technical items placed on the Agenda by the Governing Board which include effective ILO development Corporation in support of the sustainable development goals, violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work.

He noted that others are recurrent discussion on the strategic objective of social dialogue and tripartism under the follow-up to the ILO declaration on social justice for a fair globalization, 2018, and Abrogation of conventions Nos 21, 50, 64, 65, 86 and 104 and withdrawal of recommendations Nos 7, 61 and 62.

Also, ILO Country Director, Mr Dennis Zulu said Nigeria occupy a significant position in the ILO especially as a member of the Governing Board of the world body and challenges Nigeria delegation to the conference to put into consideration views from other African countries.

He said the first ILO office to be established on the African continent was established in Lagos in 1957 which is a clear indication of the importance the Organisation attached to Nigeria and its participation at the conference.

He told the Nigerian deletion to prepare well to participate in every session of the conference by making robust contribution especially in the area of the Sustainable Development Programme which he said is very important to the ILO.

Earlier, Chairman of the NLC International Relations Committee, Mr Amaechi Asugwuna said the meeting was cal to enable Nigeria delegates to the conference discuss and arrive at a common position which will be presented to the conference and also provide platform for the delegates to be presented with a guide of how to effectively participate in the conference.(NAN)

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