The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has warned its members to adhere to safety measures even as the Federal and State Governments begin the gradual easing of the lockdown due to outbreak of coronavirus.
The President of the association, Mansur Ahmed, said this on Thursday while reacting to a report in which a manufacturing firm allegedly held its workers against their will to work in its factory during the lockdown.
The MAN boss noted that this was against the association’s stand on guidelines issued to members that were allowed to operate on ensuring safety measures were provided in their factories and their workers were observing them.
He noted that this was the only way to curb the spread of the virus and keep the employees alive long enough to continue to contribute to the growth and development of the manufacturing sector.
These, he said were in tandem with the guidelines issued by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said, “The attention of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has been drawn to a viral report on a manufacturing firm allegedly 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 Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19.”
Ahmed noted that the MAN had been proactive in advising its members to ensure that they sensitise and educate their workforce on the need to comply with various government guidelines on the operation of manufacturing establishments.
He added, “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.
“It has as well told employers and businesses what they could do to protect the health and safety of staff.”
Ahmed said MAN believed that human lives were more important than wealth, adding that the association were already in touch with the affected firm.
“The Association has been in touch with the affected member and believes that the organisation will speak for itself on the matter as such practice is not what MAN encourages,” he said