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President Muhammadu Buhari: Unemployment And Way Forward

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It is high time unemployed youth like me, should actively participates in polity of my country, this is to avoid the error of the heroes past and the current country leaders to determine our future which they are likely not to be active as expected. I congratulate the “Go Slow General” President Muhammad Buhari for the right step towards shaping the horizon of our dear country Nigeria. Unemployment in Nigeria can never be a bygone if the current “Change” Government is not ready to change the old weak unfriendly Nigeria Labour Law in comparison with other African countries like Ghana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The right to work is not evenly protected in Nigeria under the Nigeria employment law governing termination of work in the Master -servant employment relationship. International standards principles and rule of law governing termination of employment as contained in the 1982 ILO Convention (No. 158) and Recommendation (No. 166) on termination of employment provides for the following Principles; Universal applicability, Conditional exclusion, Substantive fairness, Valid reasons for dismissal, Automatically invalid reasons for dismissal, Time limitation / Bar, Procedure fairness, Disciplinary procedure requirement, Right of appeal, Burden of proof, Remedies, Termination on notice, Time off, Severance benefits ,Redundancy criteria/procedure Measures to minimize/mitigate dismissal. All the aforementioned principles are not adhered to in practice in Nigeria.

The Provisions of Convention and Recommendation (to the effect that every employee has a right not to be unfairly dismissed) have universal application. In other word this principle is applied to all categories of workers regardless of the sector of the economy either private or public. In Nigeria only the public sector is covered, the workers in the private sector are most time left to their Master to decide their faith. In South African and Zimbabwe, the basic principles contained in the 1982 ILO Convention (No. 158) and Recommendation (No. 166) has been incorporated into their legal framework governing termination of employment. I therefore call on our able President and the minister of Labour to fast track ways that will bring about sincere change and development in the Nigeria Labour law as regard Nigeria workers suffering.

Most of the commercial activity or engagements that brings joy and succor to Nigeria masses in the old days as been casualised, a very good example is the banking sector, the current Government should cancel or strictly monitor the activities of contract outsourcing firms which salvage and collect the remuneration of suffering workers thereby denying real-time workers accessed to be fully staffed because of their selfish business motives. This is the main reason why there is usually stampede whenever there is call by the public sector for recruitment, most private workers have no security on their job they can be laid off anytime, they are only remunerated for food and transport without savings for future. The contract staffs are sacked without prior notice thereby adding to great number of unemployed individuals in the country. I will urge the Change Government to look into this ado if we want a sanctified peaceful working environment in the country.

In South Africa unfair dismissal are expressly provided for under S. 187, LRA. In Nigeria especially in private sector constructive dismissal is all over. A situation where an employee is compelled to ’Voluntarily’ resign because continuing working for the employer has been made intolerable by the employer. You can imagine C.E.O threatens a female worker for sex for job security and lots of abnormalities by majority of the private business owner in Nigeria. Even foreign companies will come to our country and still use the citizens as slaves in work place. Working for twelve hours including weekends is very paramount among the Korean and Chinese company in Nigeria. But it really pain that our labour law is very weak that it cannot guaranty a good and save working regulations for her dear citizens.

In conclusion, it’s true that the government cannot employ the ever increasing unemployed graduate, but there is a drastic need for the Change Government through the minister of labour to strictly monitor the activities of the employers and quickly amend the weak and toothless current Nigeria Labour Law. If this is done the labour market will be competitive and thriving.

Alarape Aliu Abiodun writes via aaalarape@gmail.com

A Learner

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