FG’ll amend all extant labour laws to conform with new challenges - Festus Keyamo
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo has hinted at the Federal Government plans to amend all the extant laws on labour matters including that of the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) to conform with emerging challenges in the sector.
Keyamo who disclosed this on Friday during his Two-day working visit to the headquarters of the institute in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, also said that majority of building structures of the institute would be pulled down and reconstructed to meet with modern architectural design.
The Minister who recalled that the institute was commissioned about forty years ago by President Sheu Shagari noted that repairs, in this case, would be more expensive hence the need for complete pull down of the buildings to also recompense the labour hero, Michael Imoudu.
He disclosed that he has gone around the institute and directed that the Governing Council and the management should make a proposal to the government that a whole administrative block is brought down.
He said "We need a new smart complex. The old complex was commissioned by the late former President Shehu Shagari about 40 years ago. The place is decrepit. There is no point in renovating. If you repaint an old building, you are not doing justice to it. At times, it is even more expensive to renovate.”
However, the Minister on the need to review the labour law explained that the act establishing the institute was a product of decree of the military era, pointing out that it precluded representation of all labour centres.
The Minister, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), assured that the MINILS act like other labour laws would be reviewed to give room for representation of relevant organizations for effectiveness and efficiency in the operation of the institute.
He also promised to discourage outsourcing of the headship of the institute, saying that it would be in the best interest if workers are enabled to rise through the ranks and head the institute when the time comes.
According to him, he wants to set a standard for Ministers that would come after him that whoever that would head MINILS henceforth must be someone with requisite experience within the institute, who has gone through the ranks and somebody with passionate trade union background.
"We should not play politics with the head of MINILS from now on.
All the labour centres are not represented in the governing council. We are trying to amend all the labour laws. We are going to amend that of MINILS so that we can have other labour centres. For MINILS, it was an old law that was promulgated; a decree that was adopted later as an act of parliament””, he said.
Keyamo also said that it was imperative that stakeholders of the institute including the management should network and attract funding to the institute in order to complement the efforts of the federal government.
The Chairman of the Governing Council of the institute, Comrade Frank Kokori, Labour Activist, Hassan Sunmonu and the Director-General of the Institute, Comrade Issa Aremu had earlier spoken on the need to upgrade the Institute to an enviable and international standard and also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a Comrade for the first time to head the Labour institute.