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The Federal Government registers a union for the informal sector

The Federal Government registers a union for the informal sector

The Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON), a trade union in the informal sector, received a letter of clearance for registration from the federal government on Tuesday.

Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, presented the award during a ceremony in his office.

All app-based transport employees and online transportation providers, including e-hailing drivers and operators in Nigeria are included in the new union’s membership.

In his remarks before the presentation, Ngige referred to the new union’s registration as a turning point in labor administration, particularly in the trade union services sector. He added that it signifies the continuation of the global effort to formalize the informal sector, which employs the majority of people worldwide.

The Minister stated that the informal sector has previously been unmanageable since there was no clear structural framework to synchronize and demarcate its various sections.

In the 2019 ILO Centenary Declaration, Ngige said they also took into account how the world of work is changing as a result of technological advancement, emphasizing the need to make sure that these transformational changes are driven by people.

He claimed that in light of these factors, his ministry decided to register AUATWON to facilitate the organization of the newly emerging but rapidly expanding informal economy.

He said that, in addition to producing jobs, the union’s registration would give the government access to monitor Nigeria’s transportation networks’ security measures.

He commanded them to fulfill all requirements of the Trade Unions Act, CAP T14, LFN, 2004, including submitting yearly reports to the Registrar of Trade Unions.

Dr. Adedaramola Adeniran, the president of AUATWON, thanked the minister for registering his union to safeguard the interests of their members who work in the unorganized sector of the economy.

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Adeniran said that before the minister recognized the potential of the gig economy and its ability to create employment for workers, particularly in the informal sector, she had been threatened by the lack of regulation that protected her industry. She praised the minister for a job well done.

Specifically, in the area of social discourse, he said that the union’s establishment to represent the concerns of workers in the app-based transportation sector was a step towards achieving decent work practices in Nigeria’s informal sector.

As a union, he claimed, they would advance the needs of their members and pursue compensation for individuals who had suffered an injury at the hands of their employers.

He pledged that they would cooperate and work with key parties, such as the government, app developers, and national and international organizations that would look out for the welfare of their members, among others.

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