Simon Lalong, the newly sworn-in minister of labour and employment on Monday assumed office, promising to tackle unemployment, address minimum wage and resolve all trade disputes.
Lalong said under his leadership, the ministry will fulfil its mandate of ensuring decent work for all Nigerians and making sure that citizens, particularly youth and women get the opportunity to deploy their energy, creativity, talent and gifts to the development of the nation.
“We shall, therefore, mobilise and deploy all the resources of the ministry towards ensuring that the matters relating to labour and employment are galvanised across relevant MDAs and sectors of the economy in line with the ‘renewed hope agenda’ of Mr. President. Our workers must get value for their labour and operate in a safe and conducive environment”, he said.
On the level of unemployment, underemployment, and challenges associated with the work environment, he said the ministry has been mandated by the president to ensure that Nigerians get decent employment and are adequately remunerated for their labour both in the public and private sectors.
He further said the administration will escalate the relations with the private sector, development partners, international agencies, NGOs among others to make sure that unemployment and underemployment are reduced to the barest minimum according to the plan of the Tinubu administration.
On the relationship with the organised labour, he said the government through the ministry shall work closely with the NLC, TUC and their affiliates towards not only ensuring that all pending industrial disputes are settled amicably and addressing with strong determination the new minimum wage and other palliatives arising from the removal of fuel subsidy.
“This is a call to service, and we shall do everything within our power to give our best in assisting the president to fulfil his renewed hope agenda for a better Nigeria. Nigerians have trusted President Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima with their mandate, and therefore, expect a better nation where their dreams and aspirations will be fulfilled.
The task is certainly enormous but achievable, especially with the abundant human resources Nigeria is endowed with. We, therefore, need your support and understanding to succeed”, he said.
He said the ministry will leverage technology, skill acquisition, entrepreneurship, agriculture among others to open up more employment opportunities for all Nigerians.
“In the coming weeks, we shall unveil detailed plans of President Tinubu’s vision for labour and employment and also spell out the role that the ministry and its agencies, development partners and Nigerians, in general, will play in actualising it. We shall be engaging all relevant partners and receiving briefings towards a robust performance”, Lalong said.