Editorial: Eradicating casualization of workers in Nigeria

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Last October, the Minister of Employment, Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige said the President Muhammadu Buhari led-Administration would deliver a policy directive on the actualisation of employment in the country. This comes after a bill to prohibit casualization in all forms of employment in both private and public sector scaled through second reading in the senate.

The bill titled “A Bill for an Act to provide for the prohibition of casualization in all forms of employment in the private and public sector in Nigeria and for related matters”, was presented by Senator Ayo Akinyelure last year. According to the senator, casualization of Nigerian workers especially University graduates in the labour market is a source of concern.

“This is as more workers continue to groan under the immoral strategy of cutting cost by employers rendering them inferior to their counterpart in other countries of the world.” He said that data from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) shows that workers in the telecommunication, oil and gas sectors are engaged as casual labourers by employers of labour.

Casualization is not compatible with the world economy and workers’ welfarism in the 21st century. In Nigeria, casualisation is common in sectors that are money-spinning and are capable of giving full employment to workers. Sectors like the banking, oil and gas, and communication sectors are the major perpetrators of casualization.

The bill tend to impose a legal duty on employers of labour both in the public and private establishments to convert casual employments to permanent status after three months of engagement.

Impact News unequivocally agrees with the lawmakers that casualization is an act of oppression and debasement of Nigerians. We are equally lightened by the fact that while the National Assembly is working towards putting an end to this form of 21st century slavery through the a legal framework, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is also working on developing a policy plan to put an end to casualization.

Senator Ngige pleaded with the committee to stay action on the Bill to enable the federal government to consult with other stakeholders in the labour sector on the bill so that the law that would come out of it will be acceptable to all.

We are however concern that the executive and the legislators are working on the same issue on different frequency. We advised that there should be harmonisation of ideas and this policy to ensure that Nigerians are better protected and secured and their employment is guaranteed.

It is important that the two arms of government manage the issue in a way that it would be convenient for both employers, worker and stakeholders including the government in order to ensure that the bill is not deficient and eventually pose threat to stakeholders in the labour market before the bill is eventually passed.

Putting an end to casualization in the country, we are confidence would ensure that workers enjoy job security and boost the economy.

We are confidence that when there is a legal framework that put an end to casualisation workers would be protected against unfair labour practices, imposing a legal duty on employers of labour both in private and public sector establishments to convert casual employment to permanent status among others. We therefore advise the lawmakers and the FEC to ensure that stakeholders including the organised Private Sectors and the labour unions are given enough time to review the bill and make cogent contribution to it.

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