The Federal Government on Tuesday presented a letter of approval of registration to an informal sector trade union, the Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers of Nigeria.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, made the presentation at a ceremony in his office.

The membership of the new union comprises all app-based transport workers, online transport services, and e-hailing drivers and operators in Nigeria.

Making remarks before the presentation, Ngige described the registration of the new union as a milestone in labour administration, particularly in the trade union services segment, adding that it marked a continued global journey to formalise the informal sector, which constitute the larger population in the world of work.

The Minister noted that prior to now, the informal sector had been unmanageable, owing to lack of identifiable structural framework to harmonise and demarcate its diverse sectors.

Ngige said, “Hitherto, we gave recognition and certification to workers in the formal sector, including the private sector, such as banks, oil and gas, insurance, among other technical areas, and the public sector workers in the unions of pensioners, teachers and recently, the two newly registered university based unions, the Congress for University Academics and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics.

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“Today, we are breaking new ground with those in the informal sector who are employing themselves and from there, employing others. The promoters of AUTWON applied for registration as a trade union on April 27, 2021 to cater for self-employed persons in the field of IT-based transportation services.

“We considered necessary factors and perimeters, especially the global move, which is sponsored mostly by the International Labour Oraganisation to formalise the informal sector that has most of the working population in the world of work, characterised and independent owned-account workers.

“In our case today, we have a hybrid of the forgone in the informal economy who own and operate economic units which may also further include employers, and members of cooperatives and of social and solidarity economy units.”

Ngige said they also considered the changing world of work oiled by technology transformation as contained in the Centenary Declaration of the ILO in 2019, especially the need to ensure that such transformative changes were human driven.

He said in view of these considerations, his ministry decided to register AUATWON to enable the organisation of the new but growing segment of the informal economy.

Besides the creation of jobs, he said the registration of the union would enable the government to monitor the security component of transportation systems in Nigeria.

By Vision

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