MINILS DG Applauds President Tinubu’s Progress On Decent Work, Industrial Relations

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Aremu

The Director- General of Micheal Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, MINILS, Comrade Issa Aremu has commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration’s strides in promoting decent work, fostering labor-government relations, and maintaining relative industrial peace despite prevailing economic challenges.
The commendation comes as the nation celebrates one year Anniversary of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

Aremu spoke at an event in Ilorin, the Kwara State Capital, to unveil a 200-page Compendium of the Achievements to mark his three years in office as the 5th Director General of the Institute in Ilorin.

According to him, MINILS was commissioned in 1983 with the mandate to build capacity through training for organised labour, government officials and employers of labour on labour market issues of conflict resolution, collective bargaining and social dialogue.

A foremost labour leader, former two- term Vice- President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and General Secretary of Textile Union, Aremu was appointed in May 2021 as the 5th Director General of the labour Institute by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

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In a keynote address, Comrade  Aremu said that notwithstanding the inconclusive on-going Federal government/ Labour negotiation on the 6th National Minimum Wage, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has exhibited positive Statesmanship in promoting productive secured well paid employment in the face of economic challenges.

According to him, rather than “retrenching and downsizing the workforce as it was during the past reforms under the military administration, President Bola Tinubu took the bold decision of freeing resources from over-bloated fuel subsidy.

He said that the reform has since improved the revenue for all tiers of government, guaranteed security of public service jobs, expanded the frontiers of new jobs in digital economy and laid the basis for  improved regularly paid salaries within the framework of the Renewed Hope Agenda.

Aremu said “the 15- point Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Nigerian Government, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) of 2nd of October  arising  from the withdrawal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) was “the most the most expansive and qualitative in the history of collective bargaining in Nigeria.

“The historic agreement covers both wage and non- wage issues such presidential wage awards, cash transfers and provision of CNG buses to minimize the impact of subsidy removal on the workers.”

The Director General commended the  Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Dr Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha and the organised labour for their commitment to full implementation of the agreement that covers payment of Presidential wage award of N35,000, the inauguration of the “most expansive and inclusive 37-member Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage on Tuesday 30th January, by the Vice-President Kashim Shettima on behalf of President Tinubu.

On the Compendium of Achievements of MINILS since 2012,  it was the consensus of all the stakeholders at the launch that more than ever, the labour Institute, under the leadership of the Director General has been repositioned to meet the key performance targets set by the Honourable Minister of Labour and productivity in the area of labour education to promote industrial harmony and entrepreneurship.

 On the staff welfare, the report reveals commitment to annual promotion exercises of as many as 150 junior, senior and management staff, payment of end of the year bonuses totaling millions of Naira, capacity building training for staff, regular management meetings, staff/ management meetings, unfettered Unions’ activities, prompt payment of out-source staff, pre- retirement training, payment of outstanding reparations and benefits to dependents in case of deaths.

 It also reveals the quantitative increase in number of staff through replacement in line with the guidelines of the Head of service and Federal character commission.

The report further indicates the transformation of the Institute through clean environment compared to the decay of the past, massive renovation of training halls, offices, diversification of energy mix of the Institute from diesel to renewable solar energy hostels, digitalization, as well as completion of entrepreneurship centre, U- Shaped office/ building, access and internal roads at the Institute.

Other key highlights of the report are the revival of the moribound annual reports, innovations such as 40th anniversary celebration, regular monthly sporting activities in line with the Head of Service Directive  annual labour summits,  schedule of activities for staff, new Zonal office in Abuja, improved academic calendar and academic Diploma, programmes, improved partnership with critical stakeholders like Federal Ministry of Labour trade unions, ILO, Employers of labour.

 The report added that MINILS “is fast becoming national and regional centre of mass quality training destination for organized labour and informal sector workers.”

 Commenting on the report, the Director General observed that in the coming years, there is room for improvement for educational service delivery, training and retraining of staff,   massive marketing of programme, disciple and productivity among the workforce.

On  the new National anthem, he said; “I think it is clear  that the president  has shown the capacity that it can not be business as usual again, we need to inspire our citizens as it has now become a law.”

Comrade Aremu therefore advised  relevant  government agencies  to now intensify more enlightenment on the citizens so that they get used to the new old lyrics.

“I salute  Nigerians who have kept faith on 25 years of democracy and like South Africa, their election has just taken place, they have uninterrupted democracy since 1994 which means Africa now have  a democratic renaissance never again should anybody rule us without our mandate and  the only way to power this is through ballot box,” he said.

At the event, the Kwara State Chairman of the Nigeria  Labour Congress, NLC Comrade Muritala Saheed  Olayinka and his Trade Union Congress TUC counterpart, Alhaji AbdulRahman Olayinka Onikijipa and management of the Institute commended Comrade Issa Aremu for his model achievements since he assumed office as Director General three years ago.

They appealed to him to continue to work with the management team and members of staff of the institute in  sustaining and improving on the vision and mission the institute was established to achieve.
 
The management and staff of the Institute, members of  NLC, TUC, civil society and People Living with Disabilities, PLWD, all attended the event.

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