Research Note: Political Economy of Labour Reforms in Nigeria : Implications os Sustainable Development


In this note, we examine the political and economic implications of labour reforms of the social-political and economic institutions embarked upon by Nigeria at the wake of the new world economic order which compelled all nations to focus more on the developmental needs of their citizens. To this end, the paper asked three fundamental questions: (i) what were the shortcomings of the previous Labour Act that necessitated the reforms? (ii) To what extent will the new Act solve these problems? (iii) What could be done to the new Act to enhance its sustainability? In answering these questions the paper observed that the need to ratify the International Labour Conventions served as the motivation for the reforms. The explicit issues include voluntary membership of trade unions; ban on strike on issues that are not related to contract of employment and on workers in the services of sectors that are considered essential; registration of multiple labour centers; and centralization of powers of registration to Labour Minister. The central challenge to Nigerian policy makers is, therefore, to reconcile an effective and representative industrial relations system with the requirements of poverty reduction, economic stability and growth.

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