The newly appointed International Labour Organization (ILO) Assistant Director General/Regional Director for Africa, Nigerian born Ms Cynthia Samuel Olonjuwon has reiterated the commitment of ILO to strengthen its collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria in its efforts at promoting inclusive and sustainable growth.
The Regional Director made this assertion today when she paid a maiden visit to the Office of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige in Abuja.  
According to her “For us, at ILO, we considered Nigeria very important. We would continue to be a key developmental partner to Nigeria in its efforts to promote inclusive and sustainable development anchored on the provision of decent work for its men and women particularly the youths. We have started this journey with you over time, we would reboot so as to strengthen our collaboration with Nigeria to address its key challenges”
Speaking further, Ms. Olonjuwon emphasized that Nigeria is a very strategic partner to the ILO been the country to host the first International Labour Organization (ILO) office in Africa and one of the few countries that have tripartite representation in the Governing Body of ILO. She observed that there is a very close alignment between the priority in Nigeria Decent Country Work Programme and the priority that are articulated and adopted by Head of States within the ambit of WAGA plus 10, notably in the area of provision of employment for young people, extension and enhancement of existing social protection coverage to the vulnerable as well as enhancing labour relations through the strengthening of dialogue and institution of dialogue.    
“We are going to strongly continue to support you in translating the priority that you have articulated in the Decent Work Country Programme into impact through implementation, we will like to reiterate the importance of working with tripartite institutions that you have established as effective means of addressing decent work issues in a very sustainable and strategic manner. The ILO is ready and willing to support you in this regard.
“For us at the level of the Regional Office and also at the Level of the Director General we are looking forward to Nigeria playing a very strategic and crucial role in ensuring that ILO Governing structures are effectively addressing and responding to the Decent Work challenges in Africa. We are looking forward to Nigeria to provide the leadership and effective engagement in this regards.” She emphasized.
Furthermore, she disclosed that the Director General of ILO Mr, Guy Rider has made a commitment to be the first Director General of ILO to visit Nigeria as part of activities marking the celebration of ILO 100 years (centenary of the ILO. )
In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige affirmed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, through huge investment in the agriculture and mining sector is confronting the challenges of youth unemployment in Nigeria .
“We are addressing the challenges of youth unemployment through massive investment in the agricultural and mining sector. The Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari does not only rely on foreign support but has decided to frontally combat the menace of unemployment by launching a massive agricultural scheme to ensure that we are self-sufficient in food production and create jobs. We have through the agricultural sector created about 8 million jobs down the Agricultural chain as evident in the Central Bank of Nigeria report.”    
He added that, Nigeria occupied a very peculiar position on the ILO Governing Board and realizes the enormous responsibilities this placed on her in Africa and the world at large and requested the ILO to provide technical support to some African Countries that are new on the Governing Board of ILO for them to effectively discharge the responsibilities that come with being a member of the board, as representative of Africa.
The Minister requested ILO to fashion out a way of ensuring that the issues of youth unemployment, implementation of social protection and irregular migration which are major challenges for most African countries saying that once the triad is addressed it will guarantee the successful implementation of social protection and prosperity across the developing countries.
Samuel Olowookere
  Deputy Director Press

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