Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment has called on the incoming ninth National Assembly to ensure the passage of the Industrial Arbitration Panel amendment bill to bring it to the status of a commission.
NAN reports that he made the call during the inauguration of Mr Aniazoka Chukwujeke-Zokas and Mrs Helen Oloja as the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the IAP respectively, on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Ngige said that the call was necessary as the panel had been elevated to competent jurisdiction, which was equivalent to state or the Federal High Court.
“We have an amendment bill to get the IAP to the status of a commission and God’s willing the ninth National Assembly will push it through so that it can work.
“We want to make the Arbitrators to become commissioners and when they become a commission, definitely everything will have to change,” he said.
Ngige said that the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) was one of the organs of government that enables the ministry to discharge its mandate.
The minister, therefore, said the IAP was a great concern of the tripartite partners in the Labour industry, and as such witnessing this function today is a major step in the right direction.
He added that the law provides for the Minister of Labour and Employment, in Section 9 of the Trade Dispute Act of 2004 to appoint a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman and to also appoint the arbitrators themselves.
“The idea being that we want to resolve as many disputes as possible without people going to waste time in court.” he said.