Stephen Ocheni, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, on Wednesday reiterated the resolve of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration towards the development of the private sector and welfare of Nigerian workers.
Ocheni gave the assurance during a symbolic workplace inspection to some selected workplaces in Ajaokuta, Kogi State when he visited the West African Ceramics, BN Ceramics and Ajaokuta Steel Company.
He explained that all the economic policies were designed to be all inclusive with the view to carry along the organised private sector.
“Private sector development is a key factor in the economic development of Nigeria that is why President Buhari has embarked on all inclusive economic policy under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plans (ERGP).
“The policy emphasises the need to carry along the private sector. Since the private sector development is very key programme in the execution of the economic policy of the Federal government” the Minister said.
“This symbolic factory inspection is designed to ensure that the minimum standards spelt out in the relevant labour Acts and Factory Acts are complied with to ensure that workers have their desired welfare, health and safety and the essence is for us to have improved performance and productivity.
“This cannot be attained without a healthy workforce. When you have a healthy workforce of course you can expect the attainment of the goal of the organisation which is improved output. Welfare of workers is paramount and minimum standards must be attained,” the Minister added.
In her remarks, Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, Director, Occupational Safety and Health, explained that the symbolic workforce inspection is the statutory function of Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to ensure industrial peace and harmony in the country as contained in the Labour Laws and Factory Acts.
She observed that the symbolic inspection exercise ” is not a fault finding exercise but aimed at advising both the employers of labour and the employees on the best labour practices in labour administration.
“The essence is to nip in the bud matters which would have escalated into industrial crises which the present administration frowns at,” Anyanwutaku
Speaking earlier, Lawal Idirisu, Chairman, West African Ceramics Industries Limited, stated that his company is made up of 750 permanent staff and 250 outsourced workers.
According to him the outsourced staff would gradually be absorbed into the system based on viability of vacancies.
He added that the company organised in-house workshop on health and already in the process of training about 50 workers on occupational safety and health in the next two weeks
On the other hand, Liu Yangxi, Managing Director/CEO BN Ceramics Industry Limited, called for the intervention of Federal Government in the areas of over bearing issues of multiple taxation, duties and tariffs on imported spares, imported raw materials as well as condition of logistics of moving products to the Nigerian market.
While on a facility tour, Abdul Ismaila, Sole Administrator of of the Ajaokuta Steel Company noted that optimum productivity is critical, because without workers welfare and safety, the employer will not have the benefit of maximum output.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja
Tags: Ajaokuta Steel Company