The Federal Government has directed all elected labour leaders to undergo leadership training at the Micheal Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin, for effective service to the nation.

Dr Chris Nigige, the Minister for Labour and Employment, said this on Tuesday at the institute’s 40th Anniversary Lecture and Conferment of Fellowship Awards in Ilorin.

According to him, the required capacity building will empower the labour leader on effective administration of their various unions vis-a-vis national development.

Represented by Dr Kashim Akor, the Director-General of National Productivity Centre, Ngige said the federal government has realised the importance of leadership training for labour leaders and is taking steps to ensure elected officers are groomed appropriately in the task expected of them.

The minister stressed that the era of brigandage leadership was gone and that Nigeria needed to transit to more civilised way of engagement as obtained in more advanced countries.

He added that Nigeria has to embrace the right attitude to resolving issues with a view to fostering the desired growth and rapid transformation in the country.

The minister disclosed of further partnership with Zimbabwe on labour matters, while reiterating the importance of knowledge.

Mr Issa Aremu, the Director General of MINILS, stated that it had been 40 years of dogged determination to surmount the challenges of institution building in Nigeria.

He noted that the first MINILS’ founder day lecture was themed: “Workers Education in Nigeria: Past, Present and Future”, aimed to highlight the importance of building working class consciousness to confront the vagaries of the world of work.

Aremu stated that the institute had relied on organising seminars, workshops and conferences mostly of short duration in the past 40 years to serve stakeholders’ labour educational needs.

He emphasised that there was rising realisation of the importance of life-long learning and self directed professionalism as basis for employment and jobs security.

In his lecture, Prof. Dafe Otobo, an expert in Industrial Relations at the Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos, explored history of labour education in Nigeria from the slave trade, colonial, post colonial and military era.

The don observed that the military era was characterised with centralisation of power subjugation of political opposition and suppression of organised labour.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the institute conferred fellowship awards to 115 recipients.