The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has called on employers to try their best to formalise workers in the informal sector.
According to Ngige, unemployment and lack of decent-paying jobs in Nigeria are ever-present threats that rears its face in the factors that lead to the high insecurity in the country.
The minister urged employers of labour and labour unions to devote their time to the formalisation of workers in the informal sector to streamline the workforce and ensure that workers get their end of service benefits.
Ngige made the disclosure when he received the leaders of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria(IPMAN) and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM)
Ngige said: ‘Insecurity as you rightly pointed out is caused by people who feel cheated by society. They carry arms and weapons to vent their anger on the elites. So, the elites in Nigeria are in danger, including me, all of us. Hence, the sooner we start talking to elites in employer organisations like yours (IPMAN) the better. So we can curb this malady and prevent it from escalating,’ the minister said.
‘When you refer to the nexus between job vulnerability and insecurity, you hit the nail on the head. A lot of insecurity problems we have today is caused by unemployment and underemployment. In underemployment, people are not making up to the National Minimum Wage or working up to 8 hours a week which is the ILO standard for full employment. There is a lot of danger if we fail to effectively tackle this. But we are doing our best.’
‘The good news here is that workers you seek to formalise are in the informal sector. You intend to do a micro pension for them and bring decency to their work. Of course, the ILO principles of decent work enjoin member states to do stage by stage formalisation of the informal sector. But I must tell you that it is very difficult here, because a lot of workers in our informal sector are not in unions. They are not unionised. IPMAN has therefore taken the bull by the horn.