By Favour Goodness
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Monday, raised the alarm that the rising insecurity in the country has gotten to a point where nobody is safe.
Ngige attributed an increase in the security challenges, which has also made the elites vulnerable, to the non-payment of attention to the provision of decent jobs to teeming youths.
The Minister stated this in Abuja while playing host to the leaders of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM).
His words: “Insecurity, as you rightly pointed out, is caused by people who feel cheated by the society.
“They carry arms, weapons to vent their anger on the elites.
“So, the elites in Nigeria are in danger, including me, all of us.
“Hence, the sooner we start talking to elites in employer organisations like yours (IPMAN) the better. So we can curb this malady and prevent it from escalating.
“When you refer to the nexus between job vulnerability and insecurity, you hit the nail on the head.
“A lot of insecurity problems we have today is caused by unemployment and underemployment.
“In underemployment, people are not making up to the National Minimum Wage or working up to 8 hours a week which is the ILO standard for full employment.
“There is a lot of danger if we fail to effectively tackle this. But we are doing our best.”
He urged employers of labour and labour unions to pay greater attention to the formalisation of workers across the federation, warning that unemployment and indecent jobs are huge incubators of national insecurity.
The Minister hailed the IPMAN for putting its house in order and for being thoughtful of the lots of workers in its employ through decent jobs and formalization.
Ngige reminded IPMAN that formalising these workers comes with an attendant burden of compliance with the payment of the N30,000 National Minimum Wage.
In his speech, the President of IPMAN, Chinedu Okonkwo, disclosed that their visit was to seek the collaboration of the Ministry of Labour in keying into the federal government’s Micro Pension Plan for millions of workers in its employ, hence the place of the National Pension Commission in the visit.
“We want to get the drivers, depot representatives and other ancillary workers enrolled into this scheme so as to add value to their welfare and enhance the status of their employment.
“If achieved, it will help the country to curb insecurity, reduce restiveness through the creation of wealth and its reductive effect on poverty,” he said.
The Director-General of the National Pension Commission was represented by Dauda Ahmed, a director in the commission, during the visit.