Bill to eliminate casual work undergoes second reading in Senate

For the second time, Nigerian senators read a bill to abolish casualisation of workers in private and public sectors in Nigeria.

The senators voted Thursday in support of the bill which went through its second reading.

The bill entitled ‘Prohibition of Casualisation in all forms of Employment in the Private and Public Sector in Nigeria and for Related Matters, 2021 (SB. 329)’ had earlier passed the first reading in the red chamber.

Voting on the bill, Biodun Olujimi, senator representing Ekiti South constituency, lamented that the tradition was prevalent in the banking industry and there was an urgent need to have a legal framework that would ensure the practice was eradicated in Nigeria.

Olujimi noted that casualisation of workers emanated from the inability of the government to functionally perform its duties.

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“All this boils down to one thing – the government has not done its part well. Creation of jobs is most essential. If we have jobs, nobody will be doing this to our children. And the best way to go is to pass this Bill and let it go for a public hearing,” Olujimi said.

Barau Jibrin, senator representing Kano North, said the bill was necessary to protect Nigerian workers from being poorly treated by businesses seeking to cut costs.

“I stand to support this bill in its entirety. We need to protect our citizens and our youths. Every business wants to cut cost. Those areas that we are talking about, like in developed countries, have strong laws that are used to protect the workers.

“There is a need to look at our laws and review our laws to make sure that we protect our youths. Sometimes this issue of casualisation is not due to necessity but to cut cost,” said Jibrin.

“I am in support that the bill passes for second reading. Some of the issues raised here are already being addressed in the labour laws, but we have to be able to reach a melting point.” Senator Opeyemi Bamidele said.

Ovie Omo-Agege, deputy Senate president, stated that his major concern was how the bill related to the public sector. He urged that the bill be read for the second time so as to enable other senators to make contributions.

Sani Musa, senator representing the Niger East Senatorial District, urged the Senate to be ‘careful’ with the bill because there were some Nigerian sectors that could not operate without casualisation.




     

     

    “I think we need to be careful with this bill. There is no way you can operate in the aviation industry without casualisation. So, I think we should seriously look into this bill before we go ahead,” Musa said.

    After comments and votes from the Senators, the bill was read the second time and referred to the Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity to report back within four weeks.

    The ICIR investigation had revealed how workers were treated in foreign-owned industries in Lagos and Ogun states.

    Apart from poor payment, in cases of injuries, the workers were either neglected or poorly treated.

    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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