In the last six months, the Department has handled her research remit with some verifiable competence. The Department introduced new methods at getting the best for Nigerian workers. The work done in the current year includes but not limited to the major statutory functions of the Research Department. These entails, to
- Undertake research into economic and social issues affecting workers and the trade unions
- Analyse government budgets
- Service and maintain Congress database, primary and secondary for use by other Departments, affiliates and other interests
- Carry out commissioned research into wages trend, employment, inflation, etc.
- Establish and maintain functional Library
Some of the proposed activities in the Work Plan for 2020 flowed from these statutory functions and others as directed by the Secretariat or agreed by Organs of Congress. Therefore, the Department, in the past half-year
- Undertook the facilitation with the Digital Bridge Institute, Digital Literacy Training for cadres of Congress and many Comrades from the affiliate unions. Altogether, 48 cadres were nominated for training, at the close of the exercise, however, 53 Cadres participated in the training held between 24 and 27 February, 2020. Comrade James Eustace of the Research Department was elected the Class Governor. The second batch of trainees was being processed before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown. The Department would keep a tab on developments to get the second batch of nominated cadres to participate in the training exercise when activities resume in DBI.
- Interfaced with donor and support organizations to supply the Library with books, journals, reports and other publications. We look forward to receiving some journals and books from FES.
- Establishment of Congress database, primary and secondary for use by other departments, affiliate unions and other interests is in progress.
- Collaborated with ACILS on Research in the informal sector focused on AUFCDN. An Interim Report has been submitted to GS and a full detailed report would be presented soon.
- Held quarterly public forum, beginning with the 2020 Federal Budget relating to Infrastructure, Water, Health, Education and Social Safety Net held in March 2020. The Platform brought participants from affiliate unions and the interested public.
Generation of ideas and alternatives to national economic policies
The Department has produced
- A survey of the national economy
- Analysis of the economy in the COVID-19
- Analysis of the new PMS pricing regime
- Sourced the Shonekan Report; the White Paper of the Oronsaye Report; the draft Finance Bill 2020; the Economic Sustainability Plan 2020 and so on.
The Department has represented Congress at the
- National security strategy launch
- World Bank economic Update launch
- National planning summit in Asaba
- AfCFTA NAC
- AfCFTA Domestic Sub-Committee
- AfCFTA External Sub-Committee, which involved representatives of affiliate unions in the discussion and adoption of the national terms in future Trade Negotiations
- Climate Change/Just Transition
- Tax Justice
- Migration and Labour Migration
Commissioned Research Projects
- Collaborated with relevant affiliate unions and CSO, PAACA on a proposal to the Commonwealth Foundation, recommended by the
British TUC to Congress to “Strengthen internal processes to connect with civic voices on public policy formulation” in January 2020. We await the result of the evaluation of the proposal with bated optimism.
- Currently has engagement with ITUC Global concerning labour and social practices in Niger Delta Refinery, Ogbelle, Ahoada East LGA, Rivers State. It is hoped that ITUC Global Organizing Academy would provide support for training of workers not only in the refinery but in relevant affiliate unions.
The Departments expects to collaborate with national and international institutions to enhance Congress Research resources and capacity and funding support for projects. These institutions have been formally approached to the effect.
- Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
- National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)
- The World Bank
- African Development Bank (AfDB)
- Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC)
- Traditional international donor and support organizations, ILO, UNDP, UNIFEM, European Union, DfID, GIZ, IOM, MacArthur Foundation, etc.
The Department, thus far, hosts the focal points on Climate Change and Just Transition; Labour-CSO engagements; AfCFTA; Tax Justice and Illicit Financial Flows; as well as the Migration Desk. Accordingly, these projects are in progress and individual reports submitted to the General Secretary.
- the FNV Mondiaal-supported programme on Climate Change Just Transition is at the concluding stage with round-up activities scheduled to hold soon.
- NLC-CSO-Legislative engagement on just transition has held with a visit to the National Assembly.
- NLC-CSO-Executive interaction on just transition has also received traction with interface with the Federal Ministry of Environment and visit scheduled with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment that was interrupted by the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic and the associated protocol of restriction of physical movement.
The Department has pride in drawing attention to some landmark accomplishment as a Research outfit. In the period under review, the Department acquired International Standard Book Number (ISBN). This enables Congress to become recognized publishers and provides an international presence in the knowledge arena. Currently, four publications are in press with ISBNs. The publications include Report of the 12th National Delegates Conference; Report of the Leadership Retreat 2019; Restructuring and Socio-Economic Transformation for a United Nigeria; and Strategic Framework for the Implementation of the Resolutions of the 12th National Delegates Conference.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Department
The Department has been affected by the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, efforts continued to be made to keep track of tasks. Accordingly, on migration, a series of activities have been carried out as follows:
Before the Lock Down The Social Partner Advisory Committee on theimplementation of the Labour Migration, Employment and Reintegration (LMER) was inaugurated at the ILO Office. Congress was represented by Comrade Eustace Imoyera James and Comrade Ifeoma Inroanya.
Every month, the Department planned but halted by the COVID-19 outbreak to collaborate with other Departments of the Secretariat to havei. Monthly Information, Knowledge and Experience Sharing Sessions for seamless interface, understanding and collaboration geared towards developing broader and cross-cutting proposals
The Department initiated the pursuit of the
- Deployment of enabling Fibre Optic Technology, ICT Infrastructure for Secretariat-wide internet connectivity and networking. The NCC has been approached and contacts would be resumed soon.
During the Lock Down
Two webinar meetings on the LMER were held and the two Congress representatives participated in the meetings. There was a webinar on the High-Level Panel on the Protection of Migrant workers in Nigeria organised by the ILO. Congress General Secretary was one of the Panelists with the Congress Focal Person, Comrade Eustace Imoyera James as member of the organising committee.
Forthcoming activities consist of
- Capacity building training programmes on Budget Tracking focused on the 2020 Federal Budget, especially Infrastructure, Water, Health, Education and Social Safety Net;
- Survey of research capabilities of affiliate unions;
- Development of research capability programme for affiliate unions;
- Conduct of a survey of local and international training, and capacity building opportunities available to Congress staff and affiliate unions.
- Conduct of research in workplace education by affiliate unions and pilot research on migrant workers and sectoral dispersal.
- The Tax Justice/IFFs Campaigns (Advocacy) and Capacity Building Programmes in Partnership with Solidarity Centre, and the National Tax Justice and Governance Platform
The Department hopes to host and as appropriate service the meetings of the Economic Commission soon to explore its concordance with the work plan.
Long Term Projects
The Department hopes to examine the challenges and work to
- Commence the process for an institutionalized research process through the establishment of a semi-autonomous Labour Centre for Social and Economic Research
- Undertake in collaboration with donor and support organizations an “Assessment Study on new forms of work such as Platform Work (Uber, Airbnb, Outsourced Software Development Jobs)”.
- Develop an Employment Tracking Programme focused on job losses, job destruction and precarious jobs.
- Conduct a survey of local and international training, and capacity building opportunities available to Congress staff and affiliate unions.
- Carry out a survey on the research capabilities of affiliate unions.
- Facilitate the development of a Research Capability Programme for affiliate unions.
- Organize Donor Roundtable to support Congress Research.
- Conduct research in workplace education by affiliate unions
- Carry out pilot research on migrant workers and sectoral dispersal
- Employment of real-time Office Workflow Processes Software.
The Tax Justice Programme has many activities in partnership with the Solidarity Centre as proposed in the fourth phase of the collaboration. These would include:
- One Day engagement meeting with NLC Leadership to seek political support for the expansion of the Tax Justice campaign and adoption of the two drafts documents (Report of the Study on two National Policies promoting Tax Justice and Draft Trade Union Training Manual on Tax Justice),
- Expanding NLC Tax Justice Campaign Team: Two Days Orientation meeting with 3 selected affiliates of NLC,
- Leadership Development and ongoing support to review participants commitment and assign roles in driving the campaign,
- One Day meeting with CSOs for Sustaining Trade Union-CSO Coalition on Tax Justice Campaign,
- Advocacy Campaign visit to PACA, FIRS, Federal Ministry of Finance and the West Africa Tax Administration Forum
The need to make our library functional and the building of a robust digital database are targets we are working towards.