By Charles Nwaoguji
The attention of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has been drawn to a viral report on a manufacturing firmallegedly holding workers against their will to operate in its factory during the National lockdown following the outbreak of Covid-19 Pandemic.
The report is contrary to the directives of MAN to its members especially manufacturers of essential items who were permitted to operate during the lockdown. Members were strictly advised to adhere to safety standards and protocols released by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19.
MAN has been proactive in advising its members to ensure that they sensitize and educate their workforce on the need to comply with NCDC and various Government guidelines on the operation of manufacturing establishments. They were advised to provide requisite facilities for the prevention of COVID-19 in line with extant guidelines of the NCDC.
In addition, MAN has instructively communicated to her members at the initial phase of easing of lockdown that their establishments should put in place control measures to flatten the curve or reduce the risk of further spreading of COVID-19 as well as whatemployers andbusinesses cando to protect the health and safety ofstaff. The communication to its members also spoke toadherence on guidelines in a case of staff member(s)withinan organization suspected with symptoms of Covid-19.
MAN believes that human livescannot be equated to wealth and thus manufacturing activitiesshould take place within the safest environment.
The Association has been in touch with the affected member and believes that the organization will speak for itself on the matter as such practice is not what MAN encourages.
MAN therefore seizes this opportunity to enjoin manufacturers to ensure safety work environment for employees as a way of helping to curb the spread of the virus and also keep the employees alive long enough to continue to contribute to the growth and development of the manufacturing sector.