In a heartening declaration of commitment, the Federal Government (FG) has affirmed its dedication to fortifying collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a beacon of hope for countless Nigerians seeking a better life.

Federal Government (FG)
Federal Government (FG)

Mrs. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, radiates optimism as she envisions an alliance that will not just broaden access to social safety nets but will also weave a stronger fabric of protection for the people.

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In her passionate address during a meeting with the ILO delegation, she emphasized the inherent right of every citizen to social protection, a shield against the storms of poverty and vulnerability.

“Labour is the lifeline, the anchor pulling our nation from the depths of poverty. We will not wait any longer; the implementation of vital programs like social security will be expedited,” she declared, her words echoing a resolute commitment to a transformative agenda. The assurance that citizens will be cocooned in the protective wings of the government signifies a turning point, a departure from the shadows of uncertainty.

In her spirited dialogue, Mrs. Onyejeocha underscored the ministry’s pivotal role in shaping a future where employment is not just a statistic but a lifeline for all, spanning both the formal and informal sectors. “Labour is a ministry to watch,” she declared with conviction, emphasizing the power of partnership with ILO in delivering tangible results.

The collaboration, as envisioned by the minister, goes beyond bureaucratic discussions; it is a pledge to prioritize health insurance coverage, reaching out with compassion to the vulnerable segments of the population. Poverty, health challenges, and unemployment within the informal economy will be tackled head-on, unveiling a path toward a more inclusive and compassionate society.

Amid challenges, Mrs. Ngozi Anukwu, the Deputy Director of the Social Security Department, highlighted the unwavering dedication to the core responsibility of the ministry—ensuring social security for all. This commitment resonates with the global benchmark of social protection, a commitment echoed by the ILO Regional Social Protection Specialist, Dramane Batchabi.

In an emotional plea, Batchabi urged the Ministry of Labour to become a beacon of change, illuminating the shadows of vulnerability that cloak over 80% of Nigerians operating in the informal economy. Lack of funds, a formidable adversary, must be confronted with determination, leveraging the National Social Protection Policy adopted in 2022.

As Batchabi painted a vivid picture of the challenges, he called for the optimization of interventions through the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), a stronghold that can streamline the fragmented social protection landscape.

This call to action is not just bureaucratic jargon; it’s a rallying cry for a future where the tendrils of social protection extend far and wide, enveloping every citizen in a comforting embrace of security and care. The journey is arduous, but the collective commitment resonates with the hope that change is not just imminent; it is inevitable.