With a Decision To Engage Nigerians in Diaspora in other To Enhance Better Service partnering with Michael Imoudu institute for labour studies for want of funds, one can safely say that the institute is on its way turning the tide of Labour Research In Nigeria, Enhancing Revenue and sustaining capacity Building, write Olusegun Ariyo
For many years, Michael Imoudu institute for labour studies has been nursing the idea of developing many of its potentials, and other opportunities that lie within but that indeed did not come without some obstacles of how, where and when such potentials could see the light of the day given its financial challenges and other inabilities.
The concern for better institute especially for leadership strides comes with the engagement of students researching in an excellent environment with the understanding of giving back which has indeed proved difficult over the years, but then, the issue of exploring other mean possible can definitely come with economic gains from either local sources or other means possible since many observers believe government finances have been linear, and what can best be an alternative option is sourcing finances through partners that will enhance the institutes’ revenues and give less burden to government at the centre, sustaining its capacity building and less of visiting Abuja, the federal capital territory of the country for want of fund.
The establishment Michael Imoudu Institute of labour studies with its locational status in Ilorin, Kwara state capital, was date back to the third National Development plan of 1975-1980, as it was given a legal tooth on May 4th 1983 under cap 261 of the law of the Federation of Nigeria.
The idea is to achieve qualities labour studies output by engaging leaders across the country, aiming to produce quality leaders through research to enhance better service was indeed the plan, but for want of funds, the institute is growing in continuum even though not without some surmountable challenges.
Physical observation shows that Micheal imoudu institute for labour studies is blessed with arable land without any structure, their potential in delivering quality leaders through its knowledge impact remains, but the area of revenue for sustaining those capacity building is still a challenge which needs the government of Nigeria to truly gives it a facelift, but that indeed will be difficult because of its dwindling resources, justifying the great importance of looking outward, while tapping from its potentials in other to be able to stand tall among its contemporizes in the world.
Indeed, these were the thoughts considered when two Nigerian in Diaspora, Mr.Oladehinde David Adekunle, and his counterpart Deji Akinade decided entering into a partnership with the institute coming with the understanding of bringing in international partners to collaborate with them.
Speaking at a Dinner organised by Michael Imoudu of Institute of Labour Studies at Monarch Hotel where the event took place, the coordinator, Mr Oladehinde Devaid Adekunle said after attending a Training course in the institute, it was down on him that there is the need to develop the institute to a world-class standard.
Continuing, Mr Oladehinde said; “let me first appreciate the Director-General, Michael Imoudu Institute of labour studies, Alhaji Isiaq Salisu Alabi for creating a platform made possible considering this partnership even though, it must still go for approval.
“Coming After ten year of leaving the institute, having attended a short training course precisely in 2012, then as a representative of independent corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) as their media coordinator, the relationship still remains cordial
He said Part of what the relationship produced was how many training programmes was facilitated by his humble self to the institution.
“After the facilitation of programmes, it followed with a gallery building fully founded on this ground without any contribution from the government, Oladehinde said
He said the institute is sitting on a gold mine as it does not have any business going to Abuja for revenue or waiting for any handout, adding that there is a lot that can be done using those arable land it has as potential through international seminars, training and other developments
“We are discussing with international organizations, the Gambia labour institute, the initiative was conceived about three years ago with a layout that made provisions for amusement-park, wood-work artefact works, fountains, a three-star guest house where each room will be named after notable Nigerians and names of each state in the federation.
“We shall equally consider things like regional setting which consist of southwest, Northwest, North-central, south-east, south-south, North-east, with the intention to name another edifice after labour, organisation, unions adding that event centre, football pitch and swimming pool will also be part of it.
“We plan to achieve this by getting donation through naming those edifices after notable Nigerians, paramount rulers, adding that it will have a building called “unity wing” where it will have inscriptions of all states in the federation.
“We have visited Anambra state and Ogun state governor as discussion is ongoing.
He added: “We are now at the stage of signing a memorandum of understanding but as the time the Director-General of the institute is about getting it done, COVID-19 disrupted the process in Abuja, delaying the approval from the honourable minister.
“I have brought in another partner from Diaspora, and have explained everything to him, his name is Deji Akinade as he bought into the whole idea, part of the reason this curtsey visit is arranged, ‘Oladehinde said!
He said it will ensure Michael Imoudu Institute of Labour studies is put in the world map, while projecting the potentials it has in the areas of training and seminar, adding that the Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Alhaji Yaseen is already in support of the project, while human right activist, Dr Okei Odumakin had accepted to be a face of the project.
His counterpart, Deji Akinade, and his part said “with my international exposure, harnessing those potentials will come out being a better thing.
“What was discovered after coming here, realising indeed that the institute need help, our conversation with Kofi Annan foundation was fruitful as they are expecting a delegation from the institute, while other partners, organisation are equally willing, Qatar foundation, for instance, is willing, while others shall do exchange programmes which I am certain, will save the institute from running to Abuja for money that is not there”.
Akinade said he was part of Ondo State Polytechnic project that attracted millions of dollars from foreign donors, adding that he will find international donors that will fund the resorts specifically.
“Presently, I’m into a project in Ghana Solar Energy worth 20mega watts, Sierra-Leone and Guinea Conakry for other various projects, we shall consult with our lead partners”, adding; ” we are not unmindful of the fact that the land space is within six hectares, as there are some funds that have something to do with corporate social responsibility in which as director, he can request for such fund on behalf of his county, promising it will be channelled to Michael Imoudu institutes for labour studies, hence the institute has now become his new friend.
“This is my eight years in Ghana; I was the secretary-general of renewable energy in Ghana and that which has earned me a lot of respect as a Diasporan in that country, adding; “that the project is doable, and that with the funding mix, it should be achieved!
He said all it needs is for the engineers to get the segmentation done, as the real conversation will begin, adding that he appreciated what he saw on the institute’s space, while he confirms the team will soon visit the institute as soon as possible in other to kick start the process
The Director-General, Alhaji Isaq Saliu Alabi on his part thanked the two Nigerians in Diaspora, saying he was grateful as he will discuss with the governing board and the Minister of Labour, Festus Kayamo, who according to him, is in charge of the institute
Answering some question from journalists on how the project will see the light of the day, Alhaji Isaq Alabi added, “We must get the buy-in of our principal in Abuja, the governing board members, “said President Mohammadu Buhari’s quest of taking the country into next level was never in doubt.
“The proposal actually predated my coming into this institute but after my assumption, got all the explanation and have no choice other than buying into the idea and close to a year now, we are getting to a considerable stage where it will get to the minister of state for labour
Alhaji Salisu said the project is capable of taking the institute to the next level as the project must be packaged and hopefully, it will be taken to the federal executive council for consideration.
His word: “The issue of continuity can serve as a hindrance, that’s why we have a lot of abandoned projects, but President Buhari style was a different one, you can see rail projects being commissioned from across the county, so, issues of abandonment won’t occur.
On the interest of parties involved, Alhaji isaq said There is no free lunch in free town, adding that after evaluation and submission of their report, it will be able to know what’s’ embedded in term of its interest as it will be able to get a clearer picture of where all interest lies.
“The government of Kwara State in the administration of former senate President Dr Bukola Saraki, as Governor did build a befitting hostel, while his predecessor Commenced another hostel but unable to finish it, as we are yet to meet with the present Governor of the state, it is our hope that they too will as well help in contributing their own structure to the institute.
“Let me use this platform to say” any country where you have developments, labour is very important, they play a significant role, the recently suspended strike is worth talking about, if not for the intervention of the president, you will agree with me what the labour is capable of doing what can damage the economy”, Alhaji Isaq Said.