Institute mulls peace desks’ establishment in agencies, parastatals

The Director-General of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Dr Bakut T. Bakut, Tuesday, announced the intention of the institute to establish peace desks in government’s ministries, agencies and parastatals.

Bakut, who spoke in Abuja at a stakeholders’ meeting on the validation of the training manual on mainstreaming peace in the workplace organised by the institute, said the aim was to rebuild the culture of peace, and to cement the relationship between trade unions and management.

The institute’s DG, who was represented by a director in his office, Barrister Gabriel Jiya, recalled that lack of peaceful working relationship between government and trade unions had resulted in revenue loss, brain drains, among other losses.

He, however, disclosed that the peace desk initiative was aimed at minimizing the upsurge of labour related conflicts in workplaces.

“…In addition, records have shown that the lack of peaceful working relationship between government and trade unions as well as between professional trade unions have resulted in consistent frictions with attendant monumental loss of revenue, brain drain, capital flight, drop in standard of education and related economic failures.

“As a result, intra and inter professional trade union wrangling have become pronounced in our health and other tertiary institutions leading to unending disagreements among the trade unions, managements of institutions and individual workers.

“In view of the above and the urgent need to galvanize our workplaces and the future of the Nigerian society into a cohesive and peaceful state devoid of violence, the institute conceptualized this initiative that is aimed at mainstreaming peace into workplaces, development programmes and projects through establishment of workplace peace-desks in our agencies, ministries and in organised private sectors in Nigeria.

“Interestingly, I would like to inform you that IPCR is at the verge of developing the ‘PeaceDesk’ policy contents that would enable her to establish and nurture the same in various agencies’’, he said.

The deputy director, Research Internal Conflicts at the institute, Mr Andy Nkemneme, and the Head of National Conflicts & Early Warning, Early Response System, Mr Steve Agbo, in their separate presentations, said the desk if established in workplaces would minimize the labour-related crisis in the country.

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