By Chioma Iruke
Nigeria is now a regular member of the Governing Board of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) after it was elected at the ongoing 109th session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
A statement by Deputy Director Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Labour, Charles Akpan, stated that Nigeria was nominated alongside other African countries – Cameroon, Eswatini, Morocco, Rwanda and Uganda, in a keenly contested election and will serve till 2024.
“In this new position, Nigeria will be able to chair various GB sessions and committees, oversee adoption of decisions usually by consensus, as well as amendments of minutes and records of proceedings, adoption of reports of various committees, including the reports of regional meetings and other ILO sectorial meetings.
“The country will also be meeting with the ILO Director General prior to each GB session to discuss matters related to the region and proffer way forward.
“This assures of accelerated flow of technical assistance and support by the ILO, including training and capacity building opportunities, nomination into global forum, technical meetings and supervisory organs of the ILO,” the statement read.
It will be recalled that while serving as deputy, Nigeria was nominated as the Chair of the entire Government Group of the ILO and held the position from June 2019 to 2020 while.
“During this difficult lockdown period, Nigeria was able to coordinate under the able chairperson of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige the affairs of the Government Group and successfully handed over to a new co-chairs, Panama and Chile.
“Nigeria has through his leadership and parliamentary experience, successfully represented the African region in pressing and pushing through amendments of the ILO Regional Rules for meetings.
“The adoption of the amendments cleared the ambiguity on composition of participants of member states at regional meetings. This was a rare achievement that was not envisaged in the nearest century as colonial influence on some African member states permitted ‘colonial masters’ to interfere, particularly in Africa’s regional meetings,” the statement added.
Nigeria had served as deputy or titular from June 2017, from where she was elected the chair of the Governing Board of the ILO in 2019. This is the eleventh time Nigeria is elected for quality representation of the Africa Region of the ILO.