The newly appointed Director-General and CEO of Micheal Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) Ilorin, Kwara State and front line trade unionist, Comrade Issa Aremu has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for what he called “President’s consistent pro- labour friendly policies” in the current democratic dispensation.
Aremu assumed office on Friday in Ilorin as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Institute following his appointment by President Buhari for a 4-term in a letter following recommendations by Honourable Minister of state for Labour, Mr Festus Kyamoh . The National Labour Institute to advance national development was articulated and provided for in the third national development plan (1975-1980). However the Institute was formally established by decree No.5 of 1986 (now Act Cap 261, law of the federal republic of Nigeria’s foremost labour institution, is administered under a seminal and inclusive tripartite arrangement involving Government, Labour and Employers.
Addressing the staff and management of the Institute and stakeholders, on assumption of office at the weekend, Aremu said it was time the Institute complement the functions of the federal ministry of labour and employment through its mass training, research and consultancy services, human resource development and capacity building activities in the area of labour and industrial relations in promoting of industrial harmony, productivity and justice in the world of work through qualitative labour market educational service delivery. He observed that his appointment as the first trade unionist CEO of the-40 year old Institute underscored “President Buhari’s commitment to inclusiveness in governance” adding that it signposts as labour friendly disposition of his administration. Comrade Aremu listed what he called “evidenced based bagful of President Buhari’s labour friendly record” to include “improved 2019 Minimum Wage Act, public job retention despite the challenges of economic recessions and economic disruptions caused by Covid: 19 pandemic, appointment of Minister for Labour, commitment to create 1000 jobs in each of the 774 local governments, commitment to lifting 100 millions out of poverty in ten years, mass direct and indirect jobs through state-led interventions championed by monetary (CBN) and fiscal (Ministry of Finance) authorities in agriculture and industry, bail outs for states governors assist some states governors and respect for social dialogue, not labour repression as tool for resolution of work-related disputes”.
According to him for the first time 60 years after independence, President Buhari accorded labour “legitimate recognition with two ministers, namely Dr Chris Igige and Mr Festus Iyayi, SAN, adding that President rightly “knows that labour creates wealth if properly trained and motivated”. He praised the two ministers for their intervention on what he called “preventable and avoidable” labour dispute between the government of Kaduna state and Nigeria labour Congress ( NLC).
The new Director General said the Kaduna labour crisis underscored the relevance of the Labour Institute to urgently build capacity and competence among governments, employers and trade unions on labour market issues with respect to collective bargaining, social dialogue and productivity.
“The workers enriched with a culture of total education would definitely impact positively on the social dialogue process and strive for the enthronement of a just political and social order.’’ he said. Aremu promised to enhance “ the enlightenment and empowerment of workers towards service and patriotic oriented pursuit.”
In a related development, the new Director General of the Institute had commiserated with President Buhari on the tragic aircraft crash which led to the death of the former Chief of Army Staff, CoAs, Gen Ibrahim Atahiru and 10 other Airforce and Army officers. Aremu said the sad death of the gallant officers must be a renewed call for all Compatriots to continue the task of national building adding “patriots hardly say good bye” in the knowledge that the living would continue the struggle.