The Lagos state Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has decried the harassment and intimidation of healthcare workers by security officers, including the police in the state.
NLC Chairman in the state, Mrs. Agnes Sessi, expressed the concern at the inauguration of the union’s labour-civil society situation room committee on Thursday in Lagos.
Sessi appealed to the government to urgently address the issue, asserting that “the recent harassment and intimidation of healthcare workers in the state by security officers and men of the police is worrisome and condemnable.
“We call on the government to urgently address this issue and to caution this overzealous security men.
“This is to avoid unnecessary crisis at this critical time when the whole world is fighting a common enemy; we should be seen to be working on the same page.”
Sessi also called on the government not to stop mobilising the needed instrument of government cum public participation to confront the COVID-19 pandemic.
While commending the government’s efforts in putting in place palliatives, she said efforts were not enough compared to the realities on ground.
“We call on the government to improve on all the indices that will cushion the effect of the pandemic and improve on the welfare of all people of Lagos,” she said.
Sessi said earlier that the aim of setting up the committee was to closely monitor the effect of the pandemic with a view to offering appropriate advice to relevant authorities.
According to her, activities of the committee will focus on sensitisation of workers and citizens on the reality, prevalence, prevention and containment measures against the virus among others.
“Our collective resolve as critical stakeholders to set up a situation room on COVID-19 in Lagos state will go a long way in complementing government’s efforts in the management of the pandemic.
“Also, proper and fair advice will be continuously offered based on verified information sourced from different sectors of the state by this committee,” she added.
Sessi said that setting up of the committee was to ensure the promotion and prevention of loss of jobs.
According to her, the committee will intervene on matters arising from the fallout of the pandemic to ensure there are no job losses and no reduction or cut in workers’ salaries.
“As it is, we foresee a situation where some factories and workplaces will experience closure and reduction in working hours.
“In fact, some companies have leveraged on the current situation to violate the workers’ rights.
“In all of this, Lagos state workers demand jobs and wage protection; to make this possible, factories and businesses will require stimulus, financial aids and other micro economic support.
“We want both the federal and state governments, and international bodies to come to the aid of not only multinational companies, but also to employers of labour,” she said.
In his remarks, the Publicity Secretary, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Moruf Abdusalam, said that COVID-19 was a multisectoral problem that would need to be tackled by all sectors and facets of the society.