INEC trains staff on dispute resolution
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday said it had trained 50 directing staff on Electoral Alternative Dispute Resolution (EADR) and workplace mediation.
Mrs Ngozi Oghuma, Director, Alternative Dispute Resolution Directorate of INEC’s Electoral Institute, told the News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) in Abuja that the training was targeted at effective and efficient conduct of elections in Nigeria.
Oghuma explained that workplace mediation was a confidential, informal and voluntary process where an impartial mediator facilitated communication between persons in a dispute.
She said that the aim was to assist the parties in developing mutually acceptable agreements to improve their future working relationship.
According to her, the workshop exposed the staff to how to deal with thorny issues the commission and the electoral system were facing such as injustice, frustration and lack of job satisfaction in the workplace.
“The reason for the workshop is to imbue participants with the rudiments of the commission’s Electoral Alternative Dispute Resolution (EADR) towards actualising harmonious work environment that will make for effective and efficient conduct of elections.
“Similarly, the training was aimed at providing appropriate understanding of workplace conflicts and dispute resolution mechanisms that can be used, in addition to grievance procedures mechanisms entrenched in INEC staff conditions of service, 2016.
“Electoral Alternative Dispute Resolution, particularly workplace mediation, improves workplace relationships, lowers stress in the workplace and improves productivity.
“The essence therefore, is to sensitise the staff about the existence and usefulness of workplace mediation in modern civil service job,’’ she said.
Oghuma said this would also expose the existence of workplace mediation unit in the ADR Directorate to avail staff the benefits of channelling complaints through the directorate.
According to her, it is safe to say that the workplace mediation can conveniently stand in place of trade unionism and can build a robust friendly relationship between the authority and the staff.