BY MICHAEL OCHE AND AMINAT MOHAMMED, Abuja
The minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has dispelled the fear of gender based discrimination in Nigerian workplaces as expressed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article IV Consultation Team.
The minister speaking recently when he received the IMF team led by IMF Economist, Western 1 Division, Africa Department, Mrs Monique Newiakw, on courtesy visit said, “The fears you are expressing about gender-based discrimination in terms of work does not exist in Nigeria.
“As a matter of fact, Nigeria has implemented the Beijing Women Convention in 1995, and we do not believe that the female should be regarded as underdogs.”
Ngige emphasised that the Nigerian Constitution, Section 16, 2D, makes provision for the government as a state policy to provide shelter, food, jobs, minimum wage for all irrespective of gender. He added that the same constitution also makes provision for equal work and equal pay without discrimination.
Speaking further, Ngige said although President Muhammadu Buhari, came into government at a time the economy of the country was nose diving as a result of the global fall in the price of crude oil and mismanagement of the accrued resources in time of surplus by the previous administration, efforts were made to diversify the economy by paying more attention to the agricultural and mining sector.
“In diversification we paid more attention to Agriculture and Mining so that we can feed ourselves because any country that cannot feed herself is not worth being called a stable country. I am happy to report to you that from the statistics we have and what we have also seen Nigerian dependent on foreign staple foods has drastically reduced we can now boast of 85% rice production,” Ngige said
Furthermore, Ngige added that according to the statistics released by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the federal government has been able to create 8 million jobs through various intervention programme such as anchors borrower and other grants to farmers and miners
Earlier in her remarks, the IMF Economist, Western 1 Division, Africa Department Mrs Monique Newiak said that IMF will promote gender equality and its impact on growth, economic diversification in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2018.
“We will deal with the issues of promoting gender equality and its strong impact on economic growth in the first quarter of 2018.We will also look at a broad range of indicators, such as economy growth, challenges of the economy, unemployment rate, key policies such as the physical deficit in terms of its composition, such as revenue, exchange rates, balance of payments, monitory policy and what the Central Bank of Nigeria is doing, and how it has led to different development growth in the country,” she posited.
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