Illoh laments inadequate factory inspectors
• Govt recruits 400 in three years
WITH the recruitment of 400 labour and factory inspectors within the last three years, the number is still inadequate in accordance with the standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Clement Illoh has disclosed.
Speaking in Abuja at a two-day refresher course organized for Labour Factory Officers on Grade 10 – 14 in the ministry, Illoh decried the insufficient number of both labour and factory Inspectors to supervise the large number of factories all over the country.
While revealing that government has recruited 400 labour and factory inspectors in the last three years, he was quick to add that the number is still grossly inadequate.
“The Ministry is recruiting factory inspectors and labour officers and it has been able to recruit up to 400 factory inspectors and labour officers in the last three years which is inadequate compared to the number of factories that are liable for inspection and one way of solving this problem is through capacity development we are doing today,” he said.
Speaking further, he explained that the refresher course was necessitated by the urgent need to bridge the identified gaps, which the Ministry discovered in regard to the officers’ knowledge, skills, techniques and methods in carrying out their official responsibilities.
Stressing the need for continued upgrade of the operational knowledge of labour officers, which drew participants from the 36 states of the federation including Abuja, Illoh submitted that human resources are the active producers of goods and services.
His words: “As you are aware, industrial peace and harmony is inevitable in our quest for economic growth and development as no nation can strive where its industrial climate is saturated with industrial disharmony. I considered this workshop very apt especially at this time when the nation is channelling its resources to achieve economic transformation, national competitiveness and global ranking.”
He further stated that the objective of the workshop was aimed at updating participant’ knowledge and understanding of labour administration and its various components with a view to improving labour protection services in all sectors of the Nigeria economy. The workshop was also one of the ways the Ministry aimed at bridging the observed gaps in performance of professional officers and other relevant implementing agencies.
He expressed optimism that the gathering will reposition and sharpen officers’ skills and competencies in readiness to the change agenda of the present administration.
The Permanent Secretary recalled that during the Ministry’s briefing to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Ministry pledged to increase the number of inspections to at least 25,000 per quarter that will hit 100,000 in a year adding that hence the Ministry plans to achieve this through refresher courses for officers.
He added: ‘’I therefore urge the participants to make good use of the opportunities this workshop offers to build and improve on their professional capacities and capabilities in the areas of Labour Inspections, Occupation Health and Safety Legislations, and Inspection, Social Dialogue, Trade Disputes Resolution, Social Security and Cooperative Education, Productivity and National Competitiveness amongst others.’’
Dr. Illoh re-emphasized the need for reclassification of the Federal Ministry of labour and productivity from a purely social sector to an economic, social and security category in the scheme of things.
“We need motivation; we need recognition and all that, it is not the question of money and these are the things that we are trying to explore to ensure that the contribution of the Ministry is well recognized in the scheme of things in this country,” he explained.
Earlier in her remark, the Director of Human Resources, Mrs. Abiola Bawa observed that at the end of the workshop, officers would be able to develop better work method, better work processes and re-orientation.
She said: “Things are new, things are changing and as desk officer or individuals and for you to be more effective, you need to develop better strategies, better processes so that you become effective officers on the job.”