Nigeria Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr Abiodun Richards Adejola, has been elected Chairman of the International Labour Organisation, ILO, Governing Board, GB.
He was elected at the GB meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, after the International Labour Conference, ILC, attended by representatives of government, employers, Labour leaders and civil society organisations, across the world including Nigeria.
Essentially, Adejola is to preside over the affairs of the decision- making and agenda-setting body of the ILO for the next one year.
In his acceptance speech, Ambassador Adejola, expressed his delight and honour “to assume the leadership on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the next Chairperson of the ILO Governing Board for the 2023-2024 session.
“We appreciate the thoughtfulness in nominating and confirming Nigeria to preside over the affairs of this decision-making and agenda- setting body of our century-old organisation at this time. We thank members of the Government Group for the thoughtfulness of sharing the mandate to provide leadership at such a time when the world of work is facing one of its most challenging moments with Nigeria.
“As Nigeria accepts the responsibility of continuing from where Chile handed the baton, we are confident that our two vice-chairs will extend their warm cooperation and support to us to sustain the accelerated progress of our predecessor.
“We will count on the goodwill and support of all government members of the Governing Body to move the stake of our organisation higher. As we are no doubt aware, the demand for greater supervision, provision of technical assistance and share of quality research findings from the ILO as the leading authority in the world of work, is greater now than ever.
“The soaring level of unemployment, disruptive impact of technology, the devastating effect of climate change and regional demographics are the stark realities staring us in the face. Our agenda in future meetings should take on board these challenges, to confront and shape global discourse as a matter of urgency. Our policy outcomes and decisions should inspire hope for a better quality of life and new opportunities.
“We are ready to deliver on the mandate entrusted to us, prepared to serve, listen and to align with our common goal of leaving no one behind. Together, we will harness our potentials and draw strength from our unique tripartite governance structure to consolidate on our post-centenary and pandemic gains.
“Our mutual and healthy respect, tolerance and maturity for contrary opinions will be helpful. Our diversity in economic development and vast tapestry of perspectives should enrich and balance our conclusions.
“Distinguished delegates and esteemed members of the Governing Body, I will commence rounds of meetings and consultations to familiarize myself with our key officers after a well-deserved break from this conference.”