The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Regional Director for Africa, Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, has urged African countries to emulate Nigeria by joining the Global Youth Initiative.

She made the call when the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. William Alo, and his delegation paid her a courtesy visit in her Office at the Palaise des Nation, Geneva, Switzerland, during the 2019 International Labour Conference (ILC).

The Regional Director congratulated Nigeria for being one of the five countries in the world that is a member of the Global Youth Initiative which brings together about twenty United Nations Agencies to support the Global Youth Employment Agenda.

“I used Nigeria to encourage other African countries to be part of this initiative. It is not surprising because Nigeria being the first country where ILO physical presence was established. It is the only country in Africa that is part of the Global Youth Initiative and not surprising that Nigeria is hosting the Global Youth Employment Forum in August, 2019.We appreciate the commitment of the President and People of Nigeria to the hosting right and wish the country a successful event”, she stated.

Samuel-Olonjuwon disclosed that the Director-General, International Labour Organisation, Guy Ryder, would be physically present to declare open the Forum and equally pay a state visit to Nigeria. She said Nigeria, as a member of the Global Youth Initiative, would strategically use the opportunity as a country and as Africa in general.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. William Alo, in his remarks said Nigeria is fully ready to host the Global Youth Employment Forum. “The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari has approved the hosting of the event by Nigeria. An Inter-ministerial Committee has been set up involving all relevant government Agencies and series of meetings and planning are ongoing towards the success of the event”, he added.  

Alo expressed Nigeria’s request for more collaboration with the ILO for the country to perform and deliver more on labour issues. 

He further stated Nigeria’s renewed request for the upgrading of the ILO Office in Abuja and demand for the employment of more Nigerian professionals into the Office in order to bridge the under-representation of Nigeria in the ILO workforce bearing in mind Nigeria’s status and contributions to the organisation.

Alo also made the request for the ILO to correct the international arrangements of reserving permanent seats for Countries of Chief Industrial Importance as ILO prepares to adopt a new Centenary Declaration based on social justice and inclusiveness

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