By Chimezie Godfrey
The Michael Imoudu Institute for Labour Studies(MINILS) has commended President Buhari’s administration in feeding Nigerian children and protecting them in schools against banditry and security threats.
The Director General, MINILS, Comrade Issa Aremu made the commendation as part of his message celebrating the 2021 Nelson Mandela International Day, (MND).
Aremu who commended the legacies of the first non-racial democratically elected former South African President, Dr. Nelson Mandela, also complimented the President Buhari’s administration social protection projects.
He said,”On behalf of the management and staff of The Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, (MINILS) Ilorin, I welcome you all.
“With pleasure Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, (MINILS) Ilorin joins the rest of the world to celebrate 2021 Nelson Mandela (International) Day, (NMD).
“The day is also known as Mandela Day. It is observed every year on July 18 to mark the birthday anniversary of the first non-racial democratically elected former South African president, Dr. Nelson Mandela.
“The United Nations Organization (UNO) in November 2009 officially declared Nelson Mandela International Day to honour Mandela for his service to humanity for 67 years of public service.
“He spent 27 years out of a long term of public service at the maximum Robben Island prison for fighting against the crime against humanity which was apartheid in South Africa.
“Mandela Day was first celebrated on July 18, 2010. So this is the 11th anniversary. However, it’s the maiden edition at MINILS.
“This day was Mandela’s original idea to celebrate his birthday. Asked on how he wanted the Day marked when so honoured with a day by the UN, Mandela humbly called on everyone to spend each minute representing each year of the 67 years of his public service to do something positive to uplift humanity.
“MINILS is inspired to join progressive world today to feed and educate 35 students of secondary schools from Olunlade community as part of our corporate social responsibility.
“In doing so MINILS dutifully compliments the globally acknowledged social protection measures of President Muhammadu Buhari, administration in feeding Nigerian children and protecting them in schools against banditry and reactionary ideology which falsely make education a crime! MINILS agrees with Nelson Mandela that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Mandela once said (and we agree with him) that “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”
Aremu recalled that the foundation stone of MINILS was laid in 1983 by late President Shehu Shagari.
According to him, the National Institute for Labour Studies was established 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.
He stressed that 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 alike.
“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.
“Help me appreciate the founding Directors and all the staff of this great Institute named after the mentor of Nelson Mandela, Pa Michael Imoudu, no 1 Nigeria’s labour leader,” he stated.
The MINLS DG pointed out that primary and secondary school students are future workers, future employers and future government officials.
“In fact, students are future stakeholders. The youths are leaders of tomorrow. In any case, Nelson Mandela himself started as a youth activist.
“We must therefore help to nurture our youths. We must catch them young through care and appropriate mentorship.
“There is no better opportunity than today Mandela Day dedicated to honor the iconic African leader who was himself a lover of children and education including workers’ education,” he stressed.
Aremu assured that the MINILS will ensure the realization of President Buhari’s vision to eradicate the menace of out-of-school children through a comprehensive programme where the affected kids are enrolled in school, well fed and supported to continue their education.
He further said that the MINILS will partner with the Presidency and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to realize the vision to achieve the vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030 through education of youths in skills for employability.
“Youths without education and skills are potential bandits. Youths with education and skills are nation- builders.
“This is why we must make schools safe through adequate nutrition for the students and physical security for their schools.
“State governments and security agencies must re-dedicate themselves to the Safe School Declaration project of the Federal government,” Aremu stated.