The federal government has called for the improvement of safe and healthy working environment and conditions, especially in the informal sector, for the protection of employees and employers.
A statement made available by the Head of Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, said that the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment, Ms Kachollom S. Daju, had made the call in Abuja, as she reported from the Stakeholder Workshop on Action Validation Checklist on Strengthening the Capacity of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to Produce personal protective equipment (PPE) and high quality healthcare related products.
Daju noted that a safe and healthy workplace would not only provide protection from injury and illness, but also improve productivity, which would ultimately lead to increased national economic growth.
She said the Nigerian economy “is largely developed by MSMEs, with around 80% of employment in the informal sector, and therefore needs to radically improve the country’s safety and health culture to minimize accidents and injuries. work-related illnesses”.
The Permanent Secretary, represented by the Ministry’s Director of Occupational Safety and Health, Ms. Lauretta Adogu, noted that the checklist would help MSMEs “in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic by assessing the risk to business and ensuring that the workplace is prepared for any future outbreaks.
Daju revealed that the federal government, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and other social partners have been working together to build the capacity of MSMEs, as well as raising awareness on “COVID-19 prevention in the workplace.” and measures to ensure occupational safety and health with particular emphasis on the production of PPE and health care related products.
The Permanent Secretary urged stakeholders to use their professional and technical skills to deliberate on the checklist, bring it in line with international best practices, and help MSMEs minimize work-related accidents and illnesses.
She said the inputs from the stakeholder validation meeting would add optimum value to the overall performance of the National Occupational Safety and Health Management System in Nigeria.
Earlier, the ILO Country Director, Ms Vanessa Phala, said the checklist of actions on OSH would help companies create a culture of occupational safety and health.
She said, “Using illustrations adapted to the Nigerian context, the checklist provides an easy-to-use tool for MSMEs to review their operations in a number of priority areas, including COVID-19 prevention. 19.
Phala revealed that following the negative impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs globally, “The Government of Nigeria and the United Nations system have designed a project to build the capacity of MSMEs and local manufacturers to produce high quality PPE and healthcare related products”.
She said the project was working with about 174 local MSMEs across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones, promoting occupational safety and health among these businesses and others.
Stakeholders at the workshop include Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Office of the Chief Civil Service Federation (OHCSF), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) and Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
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