MINILS Renewal, welfare: staff laud DG’s unique leadership style

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As the staff of Micheal Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies ( MINILS) Ilorin received first ever end-of-the -year welfare bonus (20 per cent of 13th month), in decades, the Director General of the Institute, comrade Issa Aremu  has been commended for his commitment to staff welfare and the renewal of the Institute in line with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari for national development.

At   the opening ceremony of the first ever Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Harmattan School, at the Institute in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Monday, the    Honorable Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Kyamo, Chief Frank Kokori, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Institute Micheal Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) Ilorin and President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, in unison hailed comrade Issa Aremu, the Director General for what they described as his  “transformative impact” of  an hitherto mouribound Institute. 

In his opening address, Mr Festus Kyamo commended the unprecedented collaboration between the NLC and Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin which made it possible for the week long NLC 17th Harmattan industrial relations  school in Ilorin. The theme of the school is “Covid: 19: the Future of Work” .  As many as 150 participants from 56 affiliate unions of the NLC and fraternal unions from Kenya, the  Gambia, Serra Leone and Ghana are attending the workshop which has tripod sub themes of “Leadership”, “organizing” and “Gender”.

“This is the kind of projects that the government, President Buhari and myself want to see occurring; where government agencies and institutions and other social partners work together to achieve our common goals and aspirations of equity and fair development for all”, the Minister said. 

While appreciating that the training school would “ be practical and skills-oriented”, Mr Festus Kyamo praised the leadership of the NLC and the entire management and staff of MINILS led by the new DG Comrade Issa Aremu for what he called “wonderful partnership initiative” with  “significant contribution to national development”. 

“This is the kind of partnership between government and non-state actors that the current government is pushing and nurturing across all sectors of the country’s economy. It is our believe that diverse actors working together with unity of purpose is the only way by which we can ensure that we recover back better fast and strong as well as place our nations on the part of constructive purposeful development”.

While underscoring the importance of workers’ education for workplace dispute resolutions and productivity improvement, he urged MINILS and NLC to seek out further areas of cooperation in the areas of training and research collaboration and also engage with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment (FMLE) in furtherance of industrial harmony. 

The high points of 2021 Labour Harmattan school were the commissioning of new 40 rooms/ clinic building and Entrepreneurship and Development building by the Kwara state Governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq and the Minister of State for Labour and productivity respectively. 

Earlier in  his welcome address, Comrade Aremu observed that despite the challenges of macro economic instability, NLC has risen in defence of workers’ rights through social  dialogue. He called on what he called “agonizing elite” to emulate  organized labour and “stop agonizing but rise to organize for positive changes” within the frame work of democratic dispensation. 

The Director General said on appointment, he inherited “a mouribound Institute, with low and even no staff morale, absenteeism, delayed payments of staff entitlements, decay infrastructure and low patronage by trade unionists, employers and government officials alike”. 

Aremu however, said “in less than than 6 months, the “Institute is back alive”, first ever 5- year Strategic Development Plan (2022-2025), new curriculum for workers’ education to minimize conflicts at work,  massive renovated hostels, renewed partnership with stakeholders, improved access roads, improved  offices, commissioning of new projects, improved staff welfare.   

The Director – General singled out the two Honorable Ministers  of labour, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Frederick Ebert Foundation ( FEF) for the support to reposition  the Institute for national development. 

The Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, (MINILS) Ilorin was commissioned in 1983 by late President Shehu Shagari to organize regular capacity building, training of workers, employers and government officials on critical labour and industrial relations issues for sustainable national development . 

According to him, since its establishment, MINILS has trained critical mass of workers and employers from both public and private sectors on thematic subjects of labour administration, disputes management and resolutions, industrial relations, employment regulations, social dialogue, negotiations and social security. 

However in recent times there was a remarkable decline which made President Buhari not to renew the appointment of the immediate past Director General and instead appointed Comrade Issa Aremu, former Vice President of Industriall Global Union, the first trade unionist to head the Institute.


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