September 26, 2023


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Revolution towards labour jurisprudence to shape adjudication now on: National Industrial Court President.

By Afolabi Oyekunle.

President Industrial Court of Nigeria.

The President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN, Honourable Justice Benedict Bakwaph Kanyib said a new labour jurisprudence is now in the horizon that will set benchmark for justice in the labour and industrial sectors.

Justice Kanyib said this in his key note address in Ikeja, Lagos with the Theme: Labour Adjudication in Nigeria: The present and the future, at the first National Labour Adjudication Forum put together by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association(NECA) to address contentious issues in the labour sector between employers and employees.

He said what is going on is like a revolution as the past labour laws are not adequate to meet the present demands in addressing and resolving issues in the industrial and labour sectors, saying labour laws have to be reviewed constantly to meet international standard.

Justice Kanyib said this will shape labour adjudication now and in the future, and help address problems in the industrial sector, employers and employees fiction.

He said the legislative arm of the government has set the ball rolling as the jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court has been expanded from mere trade disputes, inter and intra union dispute, to cover many areas.

He said with the dynamism of the law in settling disputes to satisfy both employers and employees, the Court often times has to rely on benchmark of the International Labour Organisation ILO.

Justice Kanyib said adjudication cannot be statics hence many relevance laws and judgements have to be relied on in giving judgement that meet international standard. He challenged lawyers to go back to school to study the new labour jurisprudence so as to be current.

He commended NECA for blazing the trail towards conflict resolutions in the labour sector through the forum.

The Forum was attended by key players in the labour, business and management.

In his address, the out going President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Waba, speaking on frictions between employers and employees called for respect for mutual agreements, and conformity with the standard of the International Labour Organisation.

NLC Out going president Ayuba.

According to Ayuba, workers embark on strike when their fundamental rights are trampled upon or agreements are not fulfilled. According to him, rights to strike is legal gbobally even in advanced economy when the fundamental conditions of workers are infringed upon.

The panel of discussants at the Forum agreed that there is need for justice to be administered in labour suits according to international standard. They believe that Nigeria should set as its benchmark the standard of the ILO in resolving labour disputes.

NECA DG. Mr Adewale Smart Oyerinde.

According to NECA, the forum has become imperative to create a platform for stakeholders to align perspectives and deepen collaboration for industrial peace and national development.

NECA believes that the stance taken by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria has deepened the need for regular interaction between parties in the industrial relations in the country.

NECA used the occasion to commend the outgoing NLC President, Comrade Waba for his collaboration with the Association in addressing and finding solutions to many issues.

A giant carved image of the NLC president was presented to him.