Kwara state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Monday reassured the labour unions in the state of his government’s commitment to continue to develop the civil service through regular capacity building for the workforce.
The Governor was speaking at the opening session of the 2021 NLC Harmattan School organised by the national headquarters of the Nigeria Labour Congress held at the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin, the state capital.
The Governor, who noted that the training exercise will hone the skills of the Labour leaders in managing industrial relations, enjoined participants to deploy the gains from the training for maximum productivity and efficient service delivery.
“The importance of this enhancement programme cannot be overemphasised, because of its relevance to Human Capital Development,” he said.
“Our administration recognises the importance of quality human resources in the public policy process. We are therefore committed to train and retrain our workforce to promote and build a virile and result-oriented public servants.
“It is my hope that this training programme will drive purposeful and objective ideas that will better the lives of the workers and the general public at large.”
AbdulRazaq also acknowledged the understanding and cooperation of the leadership of NLC and other labour centres with his administration in the state.
“Our state has been experiencing a peaceful industrial atmosphere. This is due to patriotic efforts on both sides to maintain cordial relations for mutual benefits. Rest assured that we do not take that for granted,” the Governor added.
The event was attended by dignitaries from governments, labour movement and traditional institutions, including the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Barr. Festus Keyamo; NLC President Ayuba Waba, and the Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja; representative of the Emir of Ilorin and Alangua of Opolo, Alhaji AbdulRahmani Zulu-Qornainy; Chairman MINILS’ Governing Council, Chief Frank Ovie-Kokori; DG of the MINILS Comrade Issa Aremu; and Senior Special Assistant to the Kwara state Governor on Labour, Abdulmumin Onagun; among others.
Keyamo, in his remarks, said the training excercise was a product of collaboration between the NLC and the labour institute to engender emancipation, empowerment, gender equity, poverty eradication, inclusive growth and development.
Commending the NLC/MINILS partnership for the benefits it offers the country, the Minister disclosed that his Ministry’s vision tallies with Governor AbdulRazaq’s calls for the upgrade of the institute to a full-fledged university for labour studies, hoping the step will make the school a pride of Africa.
“By the prompting of the Governor of the state and of course our vision for this place, we are seriously thinking upon upgrading this school to a full-fledged university of labour studies. We seriously need this because we have the infrastructure, personnel and right environment,” Keyamo said.
“I call on all of you to join the institute so that we can achieve its mission and vision as a center of excellence and labour studies.”
Delivering his keynote address, NLC President Ayuba Waba lamented that Nigerian workers suffered a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic, advocating that they deserve a social security programme that is properly structured from their employers.
He charged participants at the training and other unionists in Nigeria to embrace quality education and prepare themselves well for leadership position in the labour movement.
He commended AbdulRazaq for being labour-friendly and for uniquely showing concern for agitations of the labour unions at all time.
“Once again, Your Excellency, I thank you for being here. In other states when we have such programmes they will run away because they don’t want to see the faces of their workers. I am happy you are here. In many states when we appear they will disappear. We only see them on the pages of the newspapers or media platforms to say they don’t support NLC,” he said.
Issa Aremu, for his part, praised the NLC for being consistent with organising the impactful training, saying that shows the labour movement is living up to its expectations.
Describing AbdulRazaq as a silent achiever, Aremu requested the Governor to donate projects that will be formidable and everlasting in favour of the institution of learning.
“But much more significant is that we have a comrade Governor of this state hosting the institute. He is a silent achiever. He is renovating public schools and many more. He keeps to time such that he is known as Mr. Punctuality. Your Excellency, I welcome you for the first time coming to MINILS, but you have done so much everywhere. It is now time to also do something for the institute,” he said.