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May Day: FG flays child labour prevalence in Northern states


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ABUJA – The Federal Government has expressed concern over the prevalence of child labour in parts of the Northern region and urged stakeholders to work toward stopping it.
Mr Akpabio Brown, the Controller, Federal of Ministry of Labour and Productivity, expressed the government concern in Minna on Thursday at this year’s May Day celebrations.
Child labour is the engagement of children in any work that is exploitative and injurious to their physical, mental, social and moral development, and denies them of educational opportunities.
The controller said “let me take advantage of this occasion to inform us of the prevalence of child labour in this part of the country.
“We need a policy against child labour that will help to build a society that is child-friendly.
“Almost all the countries, including Nigeria, have made commitment to take urgent action by ratifying the International Labour Organisation convention in tackling child labour as a matter of urgency.’’
Brown urged state governments, employers of labour, workers’ organisations, civil society and community based organisations, media and other stakeholders for collaboration in eliminating child labour in the region.
Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra State had assured civil servants in the state of great and bright future under his administration as they mark the 2014 May Day.
Obiano said the lost civil service glory would be restored and promised to remunerate workers properly and urged them to put in their best at work.
According to him, improved welfare like housing and other incentives that would ginger workers to optimal performance would be addressed.
Speaking earlier during the May Day celebration, the state’s NLC Chairman, Mr Patrick Obianyo, called for effective synergy to arrest the security challenges facing the country.
He said insecurity was affecting the country’s progress as he urged the Federal Government to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency, noting that the kidnap of the female students of Chibok in Borno remained worrisome.
On his part, Mr Ifeanyi Okechukwu, the state Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), reminded the governor of outstanding labour issues, including enhanced welfare package, payment of end of year incentives, housing for workers and payment of promotion arrears.
Okechukwu assured the state government that improved welfare would eliminate mediocrity in civil service and called for proper motivation for workers to perform effectively.
No less than 20 trade unions participated in the rally, with the state NUJ council wearing black to mourn Mrs Tochukwu Omelu, who died on died March 25.
A report from Osun said Mr Najeem Salaam, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, had commended the leadership of the organised labour for promoting industrial harmony in the country.
Salaam made the commendation in his Workers’ Day message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Goke Butika, in Osogbo on Thursday.
The speaker noted that the 13th month salary incentive, upward review of car loan for qualified beneficiaries and other welfare packages provided by the government was a reflection of the cordial relationship existing between the state government and the work force.
While felicitating with the workers, Salaam said the state legislature had set machinery in motion to resolve the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in the state.
He also commended Gov. Rauf Aregbesola for his effort in providing an enabling work environment for workers in the state.
Salaam, however, appealed to the union leaders and workers in the state to continue to contribute to the development of the state.
Elsewhere in Gombe State, the NLC had urged the state government to establish a state fire service board.
Malam Ahmed Maisakala, the state NLC Chairman, made the call in Gombe on Thursday during the Workers’ Day celebration.
Maisakala said fire service played a vital role in curtailing fire disasters in the state.
“The service needs urgent attention, we are appealing to the government to restructure the service.
“We want the welfare of the service to be improved and that can be better handled through the establishment of a board,” he said.
According to him, the board will take care of employment, discipline, promotion, training and provision of modern fire fighting equipment.
Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State said arrangements had reached advanced stage to train workers at the National Centre for Management Development to boost their productivity.
He urged labour unions to always embrace dialogue in resolving labour disputes for the development of the state. (NAN)