THE Director General of the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin, Comrade Issa Aremu has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for being signatory to the new global push for countries including Nigeria to increase national education budget by 50% over the next two years and up to 100% by 2025.
Comrade Aremu made the commendation at the weekend when members of the Governing Council of MINILS paid a courtesy visit on the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as part of the efforts to reposition the Institute for improved labour education for Nigerian workers.
President Buhari had, at the just concluded Global Education Summit (GES) held in London, United Kingdom, joined other African leaders to brainstorm on how to transform the education sector in developing countries through progressive increase in annual domestic education expenditure.
The 8-person member of MINILS Governing Council led by its chairman, veteran labour leader Chief Comrade Frank Kokori, was also hosted by the TUC leadership led by its President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye.
The Director General, who noted that education is pivotal to poverty eradication and building of an inclusive and sustainable economy, also stressed that the sector deserves adequate and sustainable government funding.
Comrade Aremu argued that funding education should be inclusive of research and education institutes established to build necessary capacity for the country’s workforce in the areas of workplace conflict resolutions and productivity improvement.
Disclosing that MINILS was set to realise its objective as the foremost training institution on labour and industrial relations and regional centre of excellence in labour studies in West Africa, Comrade Aremu stressed that it was imperative to improve the funding of MINILS to position it for effective educational service delivery.
He blamed recurring labour disputes in all sectors of the economy on what he called “knowledge gap” on critical labour market issues among employers and employees. He said labour education must be seen “as a strategic success factor for motivation, improved productivity and national development.”
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, in his welcome remark, said there was urgent need to resuscitate the labour institute going by emerging trends in labour struggles globally. He commended the new management of MINILS for the new open door policy for partnership; a development he said would help build capacity for labour leaders.
Comrade Wabba suggested that areas of possible partnership with MINILS include broadening socio-economic research and documentation, appraisal of contemporary challenges facing unionism and bridging the skills gaps for youth employability.
MINILS was commissioned in 1983 by the late President Shehu Shagari to contribute meaningfully to national development through regular capacity-building and training for the country’s workforce, organised trade unions, organised employers and government officials on critical labour market issues.
MINILS broad objective is to promote labour-management relations, best practices and industrial harmony for sustainable economic development through informed education about complex labour market and industrial relations issues. Since its establishment, MINILS has trained a number of workers and employers from both public and private sectors.
Meanwhile, the managements of MINILS and the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS), Bwari-Abuja have reached an understanding to deepen partnership in areas of curriculum development, exchange of policy ideas and resource fellows to enhance service delivery of the two agencies.
Speaking at the opening of the 78th meeting of the Governing Council of MINILS in Bwari Abuja last Wednesday, July 25, 2021, both the Commandant of NISS, Saheed Adeleke, and Comrade Issa Aremu, the Director General of MINILS, agreed to periodic peer review of activities to share experiences in institution-building.