Govt moves to check proliferation of industrial disputes

Labour-StrikeEluonye Konyegwuaehi

06 September 2014, Sweetcrude, Houston – TO check rising cases of industrial unrest and its negative impacts on the nation’s economy, the federal government has approved the establishment of industrial dispute directorates in the six geo-political zones.

Arising from this, the six zonal Labour offices in the geo-political zones of the country have been turned to Labour Desk Offices for industrial dispute-prone Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, in the Federal Public Service.

Directors have already been deployed to man the six zonal labour offices and resident labour desk officers to the selected seven pilot federal ministries.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, announced this in Abuja while declaring open a two-day workshop for the newly appointed zonal directors and resident labour desk officers.

He identified the pioneer beneficiary ministries as federal ministries of health, education, petroleum resources, aviation, power, transport and agriculture and rural development.

Chief Wogu said the existing zonal labour offices which before the upgrading were headed by deputy directors, have been upgraded to full-fledged zonal directorates located in Port-Harcourt, Bauchi, Enugu, Lagos, Kaduna and Makurdi.

He commended the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation for approval of the ministry’s request for strengthening Labour administration at the zonal offices and the promotion and sustenance of industrial relations harmony at the various MDAs prone to industrial relations conflicts.

The Minister noted that the ministry’s strategy of decentralizing Labour administration as a proactive check on the increasing spate of industrial crises was aimed at revolutionizing the administration’s transformation agenda in the dynamic Labour sector.

Wogu who explained that the workshop was organized for the attainment of the objectives of the approval, stated that the focus of his agenda was on policy development and programmes which he said “are directed at repositioning and strengthening the ministry in line with the aspirations of this administration for achieving peace and harmony, which are the panacea for national growth and development. Emphasis has also been placed on a paradigm shift for sustaining the Ministry in line with international best practices in the face of ever increasing and sophisticated challenges which demand a more developmental, pragmatic, decentralized, functional and democratic approach to labour administration in a globalizing world.”

He said one of the objectives for the new paradigm shift for the ministry was to reduce to manageable levels, the magnitude of routine reports on Labour administration usually forwarded to the headquarters, thereby providing enough time for policy and programmes formulation at the ministerial level.

“The ministry will also be able to benefit from the peer review mechanism which will be instituted amongst the state controllers, the zonal directors and Labour-related institutions at the zonal levels,” he stated.

He charged the newly appointed zonal directors of Labour and resident labour desk officers to “consolidate on our current achievements and take our implementation drive to the next level.”

Speaking, Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Clement Illoh, explained that the Ministry’s new paradigm shift for decentralization of Labour administration was engendered by research geared towards finding solution to the rising Labour crises in the country.

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