Labour ministry, senators clash over bill | Dailytrust

Labour ministry, senators clash over bill

Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige
Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige

The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity, on Wednesday, clashed with members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions, at a public hearing.

The Public hearing is on Banks and other Financial Institutions Act Cap B3  LFN 2004 (Repeal and Reenactment ) Bill 2020( SB.178)  and Electronic Transaction Bill, 2020 (SB.155).

The ministry’s Director of Productivity and Labour Standards, Eyewumi Neburagho, who represented the Minister, Chris Ngige, had called for the suspension of both the public hearing and the bill when he was invited to make comments during the hearing.

He said as a major stakeholder, the ministry was not availed or presented with a copy of the bill on which this public hearing is called.

He said the ministry must know how the bill would affect workers interest.

He, therefore, said the Senate panel should either step down further actions on the bill or expunge aspects that would affect workers’ interest.

“Nigeria has ratified the International Labour Organisation convention no 144 on tripartite consultation, traditional labour standard.

“We, in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, have not been availed or presented with a copy of the said bill on which this public hearing is called.

“Rather, in view of the interventions of the Nigerian Labour Congress on part of the bill as it affects the issue of labour legislation, we will like to state that this public hearing be stepped down until the bill is circulated to all social partners to ascertain if the bill meets international labour standards and best practices.

“The Ministry of Labour and Employment wish to propose that the proposed bill be stepped down and the public hearing be suspended until the labour issues in the bill are sorted out in the appropriate tripartite consultative forum.

“On the other hand, the sponsors of the bill may wish  to expunge the labour aspect of the bill and go ahead with the areas on digital financial transactions.”

His submission did not go down well with the members of the committee who said the legislative process on the bill would continue.

The committee chairman, Senator Uba Sani, warned the ministry against dictating to the National Assembly on its procedures.

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