Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has assured that Nigeria would support the best candidate for the post of Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

He gave the assurance while receiving the Australian candidate for the post and incumbent Deputy Director General of ILO, Greg Vines, in his office, yesterday.

Vines was accompanied by the Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, John Donnelly and the Secretary to the High Commission, Annabelle Simpson.

A new director general of ILO is expected to emerge through secret ballot at the 344th session of the Governing Board in March 2022. Nigeria has three votes in the Governing Board.

Speaking after listening to the manifesto of the Australian candidate, Ngige noted that from inception, ILO has made tremendous success in sustaining the world of work and therefore everything possible should be done to support, energise and re-energise the organisation, especially in this post COVID-19 pandemic era.

According to the minister, the COVID-19 pandemic has left the economy of many nations debilitated, distorted the world of work and inflicted loss of income on the working group, particularly those in the informal sector.

“With that blow, the informal sector of the working group has been debilitated very badly. In Nigeria here, the people in the informal sector constitute about 60-70 percent of workers and entrepreneurs in the working economy.

“Therefore, what this means is that the ILO should look out for the best in choosing the next director general. I am happy that you pointed out that tripartism is working in Nigeria. I want to assure you that the tripartism is here and we are working and social dialoguing well in the spirit of decent work agenda.

“Nigeria occupies a prime place in the Governing Board of ILO. We had to get back to the Governing Board in 2016 after 10 years exit. What is spectacular about our return is that we came back in full force, ranging from the government side, the workers represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the employers’ federation, represented by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA).

“Again, we were elevated. In the government side we moved from titular to full regular member of the Governing Board. Even before we did this movement, recognizing the role of Nigeria in the Governing Board, I headed the Government group as the President for two years. So, it is a very big honour.”

Ngige thanked Mr. Vines and the Director General, Guy Ryder, for superintending the election that gave Nigeria that elevation and assisting her to discharge the functions of that office creditably.

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Source: news