By John Ikani
The Federal Government of Nigeria on Tuesday, expressed sadness over the alarming rate of casualization in the nation’s workforce and vowed to put a stop to it.
Casualisation is the practice of employing temporary staff for short periods rather than make them permanent staff. This phenomenon is aimed at saving costs. Under the arrangement, the worker is not entitled to any pecks such as transportation, leave, medical allowances or special benefits package.
The position of the Federal Government was submitted by the Minister of Employment, Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige at a Public Hearing on a “bill for an act to provide for the prohibition of casualisation in all forms of employment in the private and public sector in Nigeria.”
Ngige said his Ministry is committed to a seamless amendment of the Labour Laws to bring them at par with the international best practices, insisting that casualization was a vexed anti-labour practice which the Federal Government has been addressing since 2016.
He described casualization of employment in Nigeria as worrisome, while accusing the banking sector, oil and gas industries and the communication sector as major perpetrators of casualisation of workers in the country.
Ngige also said that most of the companies that are engaging in the casualisation of workers are doing so at high risk.
“Research has shown that most of the frauds in the banking sector are perpetrated by casualised staff because they believe that their jobs are not secured,” he said.
While noting that the government was on the side of citizens who were being exploited, the Minister pleaded with the lawmakers to exercise patience to enable government to consult widely with employers and stakeholders on the issue, for acceptability of the law.
“The Bill is very tricky and we must manage it in such a way that both employers, workers other stakeholders including the government will buy into it when the bill is eventually passed into law,” Ngige added.