The International Labour Organisation has urged the Federal Government to adopt an inclusive employment policy that will promote decent job creation in the country.
The Employment Policies Specialist, ILO, Drew Gardiner, who spoke on, ‘Designing and Implementing National Employment Policies in Nigeria,’ gave the advice on Wednesday.
He said this virtually during the two-day National Conference on Employment Promotion held at the Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.
The conference titled, ‘Addressing the Challenges of Employment and Reintegration at the National and Sub-National Levels in the Post Covid-19 Era: Impact and Policy Response,’ was organised by the Ministry of Labour in collaboration with Employment German Corporation, GIZ and the International Labour Organisation.
Gardiner said based on estimates, over 114 million jobs were lost in 2020.
In Nigeria unemployment level is at 33.3 per cent according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Gardiner noted that national employment policies could play a key role in linking the immediate response to the Covid-19 crisis and achieving an inclusive and job-rich recovery.
He said Nigeria should adopt an evidence based public policy approach for achieving its employment goal.
According to him, the government, including ministries , labour and worker representatives must make meaningful inputs to achieve a holistic policy.
He argued that over the years, successful NEPs have involved a broader set of strategic actors and leadership at high levels.
“The effectiveness of success that a country can address the unemployment challenges depends not only on how the employment policy is designed, but, to a larger degree, on how the employment policy is implemented,” he noted.
On the principle Nigeria must adopt, he said the policy needs to integrate decent and sustainable employment in the economic and social development agenda.
The government, he added, must also build an environment enabling for implementing employment policies and strengthening the ministry in charge of employment.
He said FG should target policy to “promote the goal of full employment as a priority in national, economic and social policy, and to enable all men and women who are available and willing to work, to attain secure and sustainable livelihood through full productive and freely chosen employment work.
“Provide the full opportunity to each worker to qualify for and to use his/her skills and endowment in a job for which he/she is well suited, irrespective of race , sex, religion, political opinion, physical disability, national extraction and ethics or social origin.”
Joseph Akpan, Deputy Director, Ministry of Labour and Employment who also spoke on the issue said that the issue of job creation should not be left solely for the Labour and Employment ministry.
He said, “As you all know, job creation is a crosscutting mandate, the role of government is to create an enabling environment for private sector initiatives to create jobs.
“So, the government’s responsibility in this area is well known and understood to create the enabling environment. The Ministry of Labour and Employment realising that employment creation is cross cutting has the responsibility of coordinating job creation in the economy.”
According to him, all stakeholders must work in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of developmental programmes.