Section 73-74 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004
Section 73, 74 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004 is under Part III (Special Classes Of Worker And Miscellaneous Special Provisions) of the act, and collectively titled ‘Forced labour‘.
Section 73 of the Labour Act 2004
Prohibition of forced labour
(1) Any person who requires any other person, or l permits any other person to be required, to perform forced labour contrary to section 31 (1) (c) of the Constitution of, the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N1,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both.
(2) Any person who, being a public officer, puts any constraint upon the population under his charge or upon any members thereof to work for any private individual, association or company shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N200 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both.
Section 74 of the Labour Act 2004
Labour required in emergencies and for communal obligations
(1) The Minister may make regulations regulating the requisition of labour of the kind defined in section 31 (2) (c) and (d) (i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (that is to say, labour required in the event of any emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community, and labour that forms part of normal communal or other civil obligations).
(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) of this section-
(a) may specify for an offence under the regulations (including a failure or refusal, without reasonable cause, to render labour lawfully required thereunder) a fine not exceeding N200 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both, and as a daily penalty a fine not exceeding N10 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding seven days, or both; and
(b) may add to, amend or repeal subsections (3) to (6) of this section.
(3) Subject to this section, the prescribed authority may require the inhabitants of any town or village subject to its jurisdiction to provide labour for any of the following purposes-
(a) the construction and maintenance of buildings used for communal purposes, including markets but excluding juju houses and places of worship;
(b) sanitary measures;
(c) the construction and maintenance of local roads and paths;
(d) the construction and maintenance of town or village fences;
(e) the construction and maintenance of communal wells; and
(f) other communal services of a similar kind in the direct interest of the inhabitants of the town or village.
(4) No labour shall be required under subsection (3) of this section unless-
(a) the inhabitants of the town or village or their direct representatives have been previously consulted by the prescribed authority with regard to the need for the proposed service; and
(b) a majority of the inhabitants or representatives, as the case may be, has agreed to the requiring of the labour.
(5) In subsections (3) and (4) of this section “town or village” excludes a township but includes any area (other than a township) declared by the Minister by order to be a town or village for the purposes of this section.
(6) Any person who does not wish to execute his share of any labour required under subsection (3) of this section may be excused from doing so on payment to the
prescribed authority of such sum per day, while the labour is being done, as represents the current daily wage for unskilled labour.
(7) Nothing in this section shall be taken to authorize the exaction from any person of any work or service for which that person does not offer himself voluntarily where apart from this section the exaction of that work or service would be illegal.