Despite Economic Hardship, High Indebtedness, Nigeria Sends Largest Delegation Of 289 To ILO Conference In Geneva

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According to a list published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Nigeria’s delegation is the largest among the 187 countries represented at the event.

Amidst significant economic challenges and high national indebtedness, Nigeria has sent the largest delegation to the ongoing 112th International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to a list published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Nigeria’s delegation is the largest among the 187 countries represented at the event.

The Nigerian contingent, led by the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, comprises 289 registered delegates. This includes 108 government delegates, 62 employers’ delegates, and 116 workers’ delegates. 

Additionally, two individuals were identified as persons accompanying the minister. The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, and the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, were notably registered as workers’ delegates.

Brazil follows Nigeria with 191 delegates, while Argentina, Mexico, and Ghana have 156, 140, and 133 delegates respectively.

Despite the country’s economic hardship, the Nigerian delegation’s size underscores the nation’s commitment to engaging in critical global labour discussions.

However, this comes as the World Bank approved $2.25 billion to support Nigeria’s economic reforms, including $1.5 billion for the Nigeria Reforms for Economic Stabilization to Enable Transformation (RESET) Development Policy Financing Program (DPF) and $750 million for the Nigeria Accelerating Resource Mobilization Reforms (ARMOR) Program-for-Results (PforR). 

This funding aims to stabilize the economy, support the poor, and enhance fiscal sustainability by raising non-oil revenues and protecting oil revenues. Nigeria has embarked on critical reforms such as unifying exchange rates, adjusting gasoline prices, and tightening monetary policy to reduce inflation. 

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A targeted cash transfer program is also being rolled out to help economically insecure households. 

Finance Minister Wale Edun emphasized the importance of these reforms for sustainable growth. 

World Bank Vice President Ousmane Diagana highlighted the need to sustain reform momentum to stabilize the economy and reduce poverty. The RESET DPF and ARMOR PforR focus on economic policy strengthening and tax reforms.

The 112th ILC, concluding on June 14, focuses on pressing issues such as the protection of workers from the effects of climate change and biological hazards, the care economy, and fundamental principles and rights at work. The conference will also elect the governing body that will lead the ILO from 2024 to 2027.

Currently, Nigerian labour unions are in conflict with the Federal Government over a new minimum wage, with recent tensions resulting in a suspended two-day nationwide strike.

This extensive participation at the ILC highlights Nigeria’s effort to play a pivotal role in shaping global labour policies despite facing domestic economic difficulties.

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