07 June 2013, ABUJA — THE Nigerian Government Thursday promised to pay terminal benefits and gratuity to all staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, including casual workers.
It also pledged to wage war against casual/contract staff in the banking sector.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, who disclosed this during the 2013 Ministerial Platform Mid-term report of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, said the federal government is at odds with casualisation in the country.
He described casualisation as a form of under-employment which employers of labour had cashed in on to exploit desperate youths desirous to get something doing.
Noting that the issue of casual and contract workers had existed for several years in the power and oil industry, Wogu stated that on assumption of office as a minister, he was confronted with lots of serious issues, including that of casual workers, which he promised to tackle headlong.
The minister said he constituted a committee to look into rampant contract staffing and sourcing in the oil industry, adding that with the support from the affected labour unions, the problem had been reduced to the barest minimum level.
He promised to also address the issue in the private sector, noting that it would not be possible to force the private sector to give direct jobs to its workers.
Chief Wogu said that through the National Directorate of Employment, 139,371 people had benefited from skills acquisition, vocational, technical and agricultural trades, while 4,379 people benefited from soft loans to set up micro and cottage enterprises.
On capacity building, he said: “A total number of 20,250 people were imparted with marketable skills. Out of this number, 15,800 people have been certified as against 7,500 targeted on the KPI for the year 2012 thereby achieving 67 per cent in performance.”
The Minister further disclosed that a job fair was undertaken in conjunction with the NDE and that 75,640 graduates of tertiary institutions and artisans have been trained on entrepreneurial skills acquisition and 150 women trained under the Lady Chauffer Training Scheme, a programme of the wife of the president, Dame Patient Jonathan.
On the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, the minister said the government, through the initiative, targeted to create 270,000 jobs at the end of 2012 and also provide temporary employment for between 5,000 and 10,000 unemployed youths in each of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The areas of major concern are mainly construction of rural roads, beautification and environmental projects,” Wogu stated.
He added that under the Community Services Scheme for Women and Youth Programme, 120,000 people had been engaged, out of the 185,000 targeted for 2013.
*Johnbosco Agbakuru, Vanguard