By Dennis Agbo
IRKED by the frequent washing of hands as prescribed by the World Health Organization to control the spread of Coronavirus disease, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has demanded that governments should provide basic amenities such as the required running water.
The Labour Union stated that it was not only water supply that is in short supply in the country but also food supply, welfare of health workers and retirees; organised health insurance scheme, among other things.
The union however advised citizens to stay in and stay safe; trust the government and obey the Covid-19 rules until the disease is controlled.
In a Covid-19 Solidarity statement made available by the Political Committee of NLC Enugu state branch, the union regretted that the 2020 Workers Day commemoration could not hold on May 1st because of the ravaging pandemic.
Chairman and Secretary of the committee, Comrades Ikechukwu Ekere and Pat Emembolu, respectively, prayed for the speedy recovery of 113 front line health workers who have contracted Coronavirus at the point of taking care of positive patients.
They noted that the International Labour Organization statistics indicate that one worker dies every 15 seconds worldwide; 6,300 workers die every day and an average of 2,300,000 die annually as a result of work-related accidents and diseases.
The Labour Committee hailed Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s labour friendliness but warned citizens that easing of lockdown does not announce the end of the pandemic.
It, however, observed that the government palliatives have not gotten to the most vulnerable groups such as the pensioners who they said are most visited with terminal diseases.
The union said: “We request that their pensions should be harmonised; their palliatives should be monetized; Enugu state should increase the sum of N100 million voted for clearing of gratuities to avoid a backlog as retirees continue to increase.
“Minimum wage should be expeditiously paid to local government staffs and primary school teachers in the local government.
“Government should review the retirement ages of workers to 65 years upwards for those in health, education and agriculture sectors.
“There is a need for regular water supply as many of our taps in the state stopped running the early 1990’s. Wash your hands, wash your hands from which public taps?”