The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Tuesday, March 19, 2022, made a formal declaration of his intention to contest for the position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the 2023 general elections.
Ngige said he has a burning desire to see a prosperous, united and equitable Nigeria, hence, his presidential ambition declaration.
According to a press statement made available to journalists by his Media Office, the Labour Minister unveiled his presidential ambition before a mammoth crowd at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Alor, Idemili South local government area of Anambra State.
Speaking to APC members and supporters, the former Anambra State Governor said having served 40 years in the public service, he was fully equipped as an administrator, with a huge wealth of experience, capacity and energy as well as a large heart to accommodate the differences among Nigerians.
He went on to recount his numerous achievements as a former governor, ex-Senator and two-time minister, describing himself as the “jack of all trade and master of all” that Nigeria needs now.
He thanked the President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity offered to him to serve as a minister, which broadened his knowledge of the various ministries, departments and agencies, being a member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the conciliator of disputes between employers and employees in the various arms of government and the private sector.
He said his stewardship in the difficult and complex Ministry of Labour as the chief conciliator, enriched his knowledge of the problems of workers, the difficulty the industrialists and entrepreneurs face, why industries close down, and why some run far below their installed capacity and in turn employ less hands.
His words, “I also know the unproductive areas and the areas of waste in the public service. I see the energy in labour that has not been properly harnessed. I have seen the low hanging fruits in agriculture, the handicaps, the factors that militate against job creation, which is one of the mandates of my ministry, especially the inter-ministerial and inter agencies cooperation that is missing. I have seen our burgeoning population without a corresponding advantage in terms of improvement in GDP.”
He said under his watch, the Labour Ministry has conciliated 1683 industrial disputes in the last seven years, 95 per cent done successfully in the ministry and its agency, the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP), while only about three per cent of the disputes went up to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).
He noted that Labour Ministry under his watch took labour administration to a higher level in the international arena, where their labour diplomacy brought Nigeria back to the Governing Board (GB) of the International Labour Organisation(ILO) after ten years of absence.