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Senate Considers Bill To Stop Employers From Casualizing Graduates

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Senate Considers Bill To Stop Employers From Casualizing Graduates

A bill seeking to stop employers in the private and public sectors from engaging employable Nigerian graduates as casual workers is under consideration at the Senate.

The proposed law entitled “Prohibition of Casualization Bill 2020” is sponsored by Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP, Ondo Central).   Leading the debate on the bill, Akinyelure said that “casualization of Nigerian graduates in the Nigerian labour market has become a subject of great concern as more workers continue to groan under  this immoral strategy of cutting cost by employers rendering them inferior to their counterparts in other countries of the world.”

He lamented that “Statistics from the Nigeria Labour Congress shows that many workers in the telecommunications, oil and gas sectors are engaged as casual labourers by employers of labours.

“Other sectors with thousands of casual labourers include mining, steel, banking and insurance.

“In all these sectors, staff outsourcing and casualization have become the order of the day as such workers no longer have regularised employment terms and, therefore, Nigerian graduates are treated as second class citizens in their own country of origin while foreigners from underdeveloped Countries from Asia , Indian, Pakistan, Lebanon with less qualification to Nigerian graduates are placed as managers above Nigerian graduates in many private and even government establishments in Nigeria.”

Akinyelure warned that the scourge of casualization of employment in Nigeria was gaining grounds in an unprecedented proportion, intensity and scale.

“The increase in the spread and gradual acceptance of this labour practice in the Nigerian labour market has become an issue of great concern to stakeholders,” he lamented.

“Employers of labour are increasingly filling positions in their organizations that are supposed to be permanent skilled workers with casual employees.

“The trend has been largely attributed to the increasing desperation of employers to cut down organisational costs and thereby taking advantage of large numbers of unemployed graduates roaming the streets of our major cities in Nigeria.

“Mr President and distinguished colleagues, engagement of large attendants of the work force on the basis of casualization has become worrisome in the Nigeria labour market.

“Mr. President, let me re-emphasize that on a daily basis, these workers are recruited at the gate and fired at will, in spite of the fact that these workers continue to generate enormous profits for the various establishments they work for, they remain classified as casuals and subjected to deplorable and inhumane working conditions.

“Apart from the fact that these categories of workers are working under spate of uncertainties, casualization also reveals a brutal work growth process similar to slave labour,” he said. Akinyelure while citing the banking industry as a hub for casualization, blamed banks for turning female marketers into harlots and sexual slaves in a desperate attempt by them to keep their jobs and meet unrealistic deposit targets.

“Mr. President, in the banking and insurance industry for instance, many young graduates particularly female are employed as marketers and given unrealistic customer deposit ceiling targets running into millions. They are hired and fired at will when such unrealistic targets are not met.

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“The female among them who are desperate in keeping their jobs turn to harlotry and sex slavery, moving from one office to another looking for invisible customers who had a stash of fund to enable them to meet their targets.Mr. President, it is high time this evil and devilish act were stopped,” the lawmaker fumed.

Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South), while re-echoing Akinyelure’s observation said, “Our girls have been turned into what we cannot imagine. Most of them have been asked to look for funds, and when they come us, I always tell them, I do not even have the funds to eat, how can I have funds to keep with you in the bank?

“And they will never be promoted if they don’t bring in such funds, and this is a banking industry that is privately owned, yes, but has made so much profit, and from the profit they could at least take the few that they can manage properly, rather than take a lot that they will be giving pittance.”

The lawmaker, therefore, harped on the need to have a legal framework to ensure that casualization does not exist.

“If you must take workers, take the number you can on proper emoluments,” she said.

On his part, Senator Ajibola Basiru (APC, Osun Central) while citing the position of the Supreme Court – which gives employers the power to hire and fire – called for caution in the way the bill was tweaked, adding that the National Assembly “must make a distinction in making the prohibition between employment in the public sector and employment in the private sector.”

READ ALSO: Why Peace Of Niger Republic Matters To Nigeria – Buhari

The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege on his part, while throwing his weight behind the bill, lamented the treatment of casual workers by oil companies operating in the country.

Another lawmaker, Mohammed Sani Musa (APC, Niger East), said, “I think we need to be a bit careful with this bill, reasons are not far-fetched.

“Both in the public sector and the private sector, when we talk about casualization, there are certain organizations even in the public sector that require the services of casual workers.

“I give a simple example with the Independent National Electoral Commission. When election period comes, they engage close to about 700,00 to 900,000 people, who they engage all over Nigeria for the purpose and conduct of election.

“A lot of manufacturing firms today, if they say they are going to engage everybody as a permanent employee, even the graduates, because there are certain functions that just unskilled personnel cannot handle, you need to have somebody that has requisite qualifications.”
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks charged the Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity to strike a balance in the bill to ensure that casual workers in the country were not made victims of layoffs.

“The fact remains that we need employment for our people, especially our teeming youths on one hand.

“On the other hand, we don’t want discrimination. If we say no casualization at all, some of our people could be victims of layoffs, and, of course, we know what casualization brings. You don’t have any entitlements outside of what you’re given immediately.

“So, we need to strike a balance to ensure that those who have to be employed on an adhoc basis – like one of our colleagues tried to show in INEC recruitments for example – and even in some of the sectors, don’t suffer too much, but that we emphasize getting permanent and pensionable appointments or employment opportunities for our people.

“I think government has a role. While government cannot employ everyone, we have the responsibility to create the environment or climate for employment opportunities to be available, either in government MDAs, or because the economy is good; private sector could engage even more than the government can do.

“So, we have the opportunity now to take this matter before the Nigerian public, and whatever we feel is the general view is what we should try to reflect when we finally pass the bill as we wish to, because this is a very important and indeed a sensitive bill because we need to have a balancing act.

“If you say no casualization in Nigeria at all, there’ll be consequences definitely. And, if you don’t say anything about it, some people will just be suffering – in the words of the sponsors of this bill – from the very devilish and evil treatment of those who employed them.”

The bill after scaling second reading was referred by the Senate President to the Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity to report back within four weeks.

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CBN Gives Fresh Detail About Opay, Palmpay, Moniepoint, Others

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Cardoso through the CNB in April placed an embargo on Opay, Palmpay, Kuda Bank, Moniepoint and other fintech companies from onboarding new customers,

By John Michael Ojo

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso, during the MPC meeting on Tuesday revealed that mobile money operators who are currently being restricted from enrolling new customers would soon be allowed to carry our their operations without any form of restrictions in the next few months.

Cardoso who stated this in Abuja, denied revolking the licences of these fintech companies.

The CBN Governor, claimed that the Central Bank was working round the clock by engaging with stakeholders in order to strengthen the activities of Fintech companies in the country.

He added that the CBN is also working to mitigate against every loophole used by criminal elements to facilitate money laundering within the financial system while maintaining the integrity of the industry.

“I am confident that as time goes on, and hopefully in another couple of months, all these will be something of the past and then you will see that sector going back into what they’ve been known to do before, but certainly with a very stronger regulatory framework,” he said.

Cardoso through the CNB in April placed an embargo on Opay, Palmpay, Kuda Bank, Moniepoint and other fintech companies from onboarding new customers, a move which was heavily criticized and seen as a gag on the financial sub-sector.

However, the CBN Governor who has now provided the public with more details about the action of the apex bank on the fintech companies said: “The fintechs have not been singled out for any exceptional kind of treatment. The CBN remains proud of the exploits of fintech firms in the last number of years and the apex bank will continue to support and strengthen them.

“However, regulation is very critical in a sector that seems to have grown so incredibly rapidly.

“More recently, we had the cause to take a deep dive look at the whole issue of illicit flows and money laundering particularly within the non-heavily regulated banking system and we all know some of the issues that came out with cryptos and some of the messages we put out after that, which of course gave us some cause to know that there is the need for heightened surveillance,” Cardoso stated.

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Access Holdings Gets New CEO To Replace Wigwe 

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Bolaji Agbede

By John Michael OJo

Following the death of its Co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Herbert Wigwe in a helicopter crash on Friday night in the United States, Access Holdings Plc on Monday appointed Ms. Bolaji Agbede as the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings.

This was made known in a statement by the company’s Board of Directors dated February 12, 2024.

The statement which added that the appointment was subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria, reads: “Further to its announcement dated February 11, 2024, the Board of Directors of Access Holdings Plc (‘the Company’) has today announced the appointment of Ms Bolaji Agbede as the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of the Company following the unfortunate demise of its former Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Herbert Wigwe, on February 9, 2024.

“The appointment is subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” the statement read in part.

Agbede  who joined Access Bank in 2003 as an Assistant General has nearly three decades of professional experience cutting across banking and business consultancy services.

She has also served in different roles at the bank including, Head, Group Human Resources between 2010 and 2022 before she was appointed the company’s founding Executive Director, Business Support in 2022, a role she held until her new appointment

Agbede who commenced her professional career in Guaranty Trust Bank, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Cranfield University UK in 2002.

She is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Management UK and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria.

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Ogun Constitutes Ambassadors To Intensify Efforts On Investment Drive

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L-R: Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (Ogun State), Mr. George Onafowokan; Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo; Special Adviser, OgunInvest, Ms. Sola Arobieke; Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adebola Sofela; Zonal Director, Nigeria Investment Promotion Council, Mr. Hassan Lawal, at the OgunInvest Ambassadors Network Inauguration and Orientation Course held at OgunInvest Office, Isheri, Ogun State.

Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has inaugurated a 12-man committee of Ogun Invest Ambassador Network to create a robust and seamless working relationship between government and investors, for businesses to thrive.

Governor Abiodun, during the inauguration and orientation course for the ambassadors, at Ogun Invest Office, Isheri, in Ifo Local Government Area of the state, said the initiative was a landmark in the history of the state, as it would make a huge difference to the growth of current and potential investors willing to do business in the state.

He explained that the ambassadors would be responsible for enlightening investors on how to harness the opportunities that abound and what they stand to gain by doing business with the state, adding that their role is pivotal in building bridges, fostering collaboration and attracting investors that would propel the state to new heights.

Governor Abiodun, represented by the Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo tasked the ambassadors to sharpen their communication skills, charging them to make accountability and transparency their watchword.

The state’s helmsman disclosed that the government would, on a regular basis, carry out an evaluation performance on them through private organisations transacting business with the state, promising that those who performed well would be compensated accordingly.

Speaking, Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adebola Sofela, who admonished them to be diligent, in making Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency a success, described them as a link between government and investors, saying a proper regulatory framework would be established to earn investors trust and respect.

Identifying the calibre of people in the network chain, Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr. Olaolu Olabimtan, noted that a new lease of life would soon commence in the state investment journey, expressing the hope that their selection would ensure a critical turning point in the investment atmosphere of the state and charged them to bring to bear their professionalism in the course of enhancing the industrial sector

Earlier, the Special Adviser on Ogun State Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency (Ogun Invest), Ms. Sola Arobieke, said the initiative was part of the drive to attract investments, enhance ease of doing business and carry out the service of a one-stop shop, to ensure access to relevant information and streamline processes for investors in the state, pointing out that the Ambassadors Network is a team of dedicated individuals from different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), saddled with investment-related functions, to ease the settling of investors and investments into the state.

On his part, the Managing Director, Coleman Technical Industries Ltd., Mr. George Onafowokan, who spoke on, “Promoting Investment Through Service Excellence”, said the selected ambassadors should see their nomination as an opportunity to serve and see themselves as representatives of the state front liners at giving investors excellent service and be ready to drive both existing and potential investors through excellent service delivery

The 12 ambassadors inaugurated include Consultant, Bureau of Lands and Survey, Mr. Fatai Adeboyejo; Deputy Surveyor-General, Bureau of Lands and Survey, Mrs. Halimat Yusuf; Director, Physical Planning, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mrs. Felicia Aleburu; Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Physical Planning and Urban Development Mr. Jolaoluwa Olugbemisola; Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Suraj Fashola; Director, Land Acquisition, Bureau of Lands and Survey, Mr. Anifowose Olatunji and Director of Commercial Services, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Olumuyiwa Ogunsanwo.

Others are Director of Environmental Quality Control, Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Mary Adeosun; Director of Geological Services, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Lekan Eniolawun; Director, Estate and Facility Management, Ogun State Property Investment Corporation, Mr. Olusola Abijo; Director, Estate, Housing Corporation, Mr. Nafiu Olaleye and Deputy Director, Local Government Affairs, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs. Olapemiju Quadri.

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