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ILO speaks on role in resolving ASUU strike

By Lydia Ngwakwe

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says it is providing technical support to the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure the amendment of labour laws.

Ms Vanessa Phala, ILO Country Director, made the disclosure at the 15th Annual Banking and Finance Conference, organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

Phala spoke with newsmen on the sideline of the conference after a panel discussion on the topic, “Workforce Globalisation: Opportunities and Threat’’.

According to her, ILO is currently playing a role in the dispute between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government.

“The role that we can play is not different from the role that we are already playing.

“I must indicate that the Federal Government has been in the process of reviewing labour laws and ILO has been in the forefront providing technical support.

“This is to make sure that the revision is in line with some of the conventions that the government has ratified.

“I think with what is happening with the ASUU situation, is of course happening in different countries. I had an opportunity to be in South Africa an in the forefront of negotiating amendments to labour laws.

“So, you do get situations where the matter drags on for a very long period of time, but it’s unfortunate. This is because we are talking about the future of the generation of Nigeria and that will actually contribute towards the economic growth and development of the country,’’ she said.

Phala advised that it was essential for parties to understand and recognise the need for speedy resolution of the problem.

She said, “I think in order to resolve them, there has to be willingness to look beyond some of the petty things, but there has to be commitment to also trust that the conversations and the solutions are for  long lasting.

“So, it takes a lot, in terms of providing space and opportunity, for a very trustworthy dialogue and a discussion about how do we resolve this issue. I don’t think there are no ideas about how this can be resolved.

“I have listened to different conversations about some of the solutions that could address the current impasse, but the issue is on the willingness of those that are charged with the responsibility to resolve this issue to resolve it.

“I think that’s where the solution lies,’’ she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the protracted strike by ASUU has shut the nation’s university system since February 2022.(NAN)

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