The Minister of Employment, Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, on Tuesday in Abuja, disclosed that the Federal Executive Council would soon present a policy directive on the casualisation of employment in the country. Ngige made the disclosure at a one-day public hearing on the Prohibition of Casualisation of Employment Establishment Bill, 2021.
The public hearing was organised by the Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity. Ngige, while making his remark, appealed to the committee to stay action on the bill to enable the Federal Government to consult with other stakeholders in the labour sector. This, he said, would make the proposed bill acceptable to all.
“The bill is very tricky and we must manage it in such a way that both employers, workers other stakeholders, including the government, will buy into it when the bill is eventually passed into law,” Ngige said. The minister also described the casualisation of employment in Nigeria as worrisome, while accusing the banking, oil and gas, communication sectors as major perpetrators of casualisation of workers in the country.
According to him, no reasonable government will allow the inhumanity to continue in the name of employment. Ngige also said that most of the companies that were involved in the casualisation of workers were doing so at high risk. According to him, research has shown that most of the frauds in the banking sector are perpetrated by casualised staff because they believe that their jobs are not secured.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari who was represented by the Group Executive Director, Corporate Services, Aisha Farida Katagum, urged the committee to give the NNPC some time to study and review the bill before taking a position.
He said with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the NNPC was currently undergoing some reforms which may address the issues raised in the bill. Kyari also dismissed the fear expressed by the Nigeria Labour Congress that there would be a massive sack of workers in NNPC, given the ongoing reforms in the oil and gas sector.
He said he placed value on workers, pointing out that the reforms in the oil and gas sector would be carried out with human face. Earlier in his remark, the sponsor of the bill, Sen. Ayo Akinyelure said that the casualisation of Nigerian graduates in the labour market has become a subject of great concern as more workers continue to groan under the immoral strategy of cutting costs by employers.
This, he said, was making the workers look inferior to their counterparts in other countries of the world. Akinyelure also listed the objectives of the bill to include protecting vulnerable workers against unfair labour practices by way of casualisation, imposing a legal duty on employers of labour, both in private and public sector establishments, to convert casual employment to permanent status, among others.
In his remarks, the chairman of the Committee, Godiya Akwashiki said all the stakeholders would be given more time to review the bill, adding that the committee would invite them to another public hearing for further legislative action on the bill.