June 19, 2014 – The National Conference sitting in Abuja has prescribed jail term up to 50 years and life imprisonment for corrupt public office holders including judicial officers.
Assistant Secretary Media and Publicity, Mr. Akpandem James, said in a statement that the conference recommended that judicial officers convicted of corruption or perversion of justice will henceforth be liable to 50 years in prison and loss of all official entitlement including gratuity and pensions without an option of fine.
The National Conference noted that the decision was based on the examples of some Asian countries where the enactment of such laws helped to restore sanity, reduce corruption, abuse of office, instill due process and the rule of law.
The Conference also resolved that a legislation be enacted by the Federal Government that would stipulate life imprisonment for anyone found guilty of stealing pension and any public fund.
These resolutions followed thorough consideration of the Report of the Committee on Civil Society, Labour, Youth and Sports headed by Mrs. Bola Ogunrinade and Comrade Issa Aremu as deputy chairman.
Conference equally resolved that a law be enacted by the Federal Government to provide for life imprisonment with hard labour for any person convicted of rape; while other laws should be enacted to criminalise the use of children for child labour and for alms.
It was also resolved that henceforth, any group of workers that remain on strike for more than four weeks shall not be entitled to and not be paid salary for the period and any other time after the four weeks.
To revive the education sector, Conference proposed 26% allocation for education in annual law at the federal, state and local government levels.
It is believed that with such increased allocation, the ailing educational system would be revived and sustained.
Conference also agreed that government provides intervention fund as a matter of priority to revitalize abandoned skill acquisition and vocational training centres throughout the country.
To boost employment in the country, delegates resolved that athe National Directorate for Employment (NDE), the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), the Community Services Women, and Youth Employment Project (CSWYE) and Graduates Internship Scheme be merged into a single national job creation agency.
Conference in taking the decision, said this would lead to a coordinated job creation approach.
Conference observed the growing incidence of casualization in the economy that is driven in part by employers’ penchant to cut cost and enhance profitability.
It said currently, most employers of labour do not respect the legal provision that after six months of work, the casual workers must be permanently employed.
To circumvent this law, such employers resort to terminating the appointment of employees after a couple of months and then quickly re-engaging them on a fresh contract.
It was therefore resolved that all multinational companies and government agencies that have employed casual workers for more then six months should be mandated to take immediate steps to convert them to permanent workers.
On the National Youth Service Corps, Conference said it should be split into three phases for it to be repositioned for relevant youth empowerment.
It said the first phase will be a one month orientation; followed by six months of primary assignment, integration and industrial exposure; and lastly, five months of vocational and entrepreneurial skill acquisition.