Nigeria has called for a waiver on global intellectual property rights so that developing countries can produce COVID-19 vaccines and effectively check the wave of the pandemic.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngig stated this while welcoming the new ILO Country Director for Nigeria and English speaking West Africa, who is also the ILO liaison for ECOWAS, Miss Vanessa Phala, in his office today.
“Nigeria is in the league of countries who want the intellectual property rights as it relates to Covid-19 vaccines be waived so that developing countries can manufacture them to fight the pandemic,” Ngige said.
The minister who traced the history of Nigeria as a pioneer member state of the ILO, with country office opened in Lagos in 1956, also commended the ILO Africa regional team, especially the immediate past Country Director, Mr. Dennis Zulu for the efforts towards the emergence of Nigeria as a Regular Member of the ILO Governing Board on June 11, 2021.
“We want to put on record the assistance and the working relationship we enjoyed with your predecessor, the Director General and the Regional Director for Africa. Their unceasing support all through the years was instrumental to the election of Nigeria into the Governing Board of the ILO.
“It is quite heartwarming that after nearly seven years absence, we came back to the Governing Board as a titular in 2017 under my tenure. While serving as titular, they found us worthy to be the President of the Government Group of the ILO Governing Board between 2019- 2021.And now this year, barely fortnight ago, we were voted in again, this time, to the highest membership of the Governing Board as a Regular.”
The minister also told the ILO team that Nigeria is adapting to the changing dynamics in the world of work, reason the country domesticated the ILO conventions and repealed some of the obsolete labour laws, currently undergoing review.