Don’t Sack Workers Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, ASCAB Warns Nigerian Government, States, Lists Roadmap To Economic Revival

A labour and civil society group, Alliance for Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, has urged governments at all levels and the private sector in Nigeria not to sack workers as the country prepares for more consequences of the pandemic on the economy.

The group led by prominent human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, said sacking workers at this moment may spur social crisis that may affect the country’s socio-political fabric. 

It said COVID-19 imposes a new sense of awakening to re-order priorities. 

“Government and the private sector must resist an easy recourse to job cuts and reduction of public spending on social services especially healthcare services,” ASCAB said in a statement signed by its Secretary for Publicity, Adewale Adeoye. 

The group also listed steps government should take to ensure the economy and workers’ interests were protected.

It said, “The suggestions range from short term protection of jobs and a complete overhaul of the Nigerian economy which involves a paradigm shift from dependence on oil to diversification and investment in production rather than consumption.

“Unlike other oil producing nations of the world, Nigeria has little to show for six decades of oil exploration, production and exports, other than facilitating crude accumulation by state actors through massive looting of state resources.

“It is said the six decades of crude oil exports have not translated into any significant development of the nation’s productive forces while the country remains consumers of goods including items are little as tooth pick. 

“It observed that one of the immediate impact of COVID-19 is the drop in volumes of sales of crude oil as well as reduced pricing in the international market resulting in lowly foreign exchange earnings. 

“The COVID-19 crisis has worsened the vulnerability of all working people and the least protected in society. It is highlighting deep economic and social inequalities and inadequate health and social protection systems that require urgent attention as part of the public health response. The impact of lock-downs on jobs, livelihoods, access to services, including health care, food, water, education and social services, safety at home, adequate standards of living and family life has been severe.”

ASCAB said COVID-19 had proved that the future of every country rests on production of goods and services and not a cosmetic programme that is solely dependent on foreign products.

It said the ruling class had failed to diversify the productive base of the economy, but had funded budgets that oils corrupt bureaucracy and waste.

It added, “Increased spending on public education would allow decongesting overcrowded classrooms by employing more teachers and urgently building more class rooms before children will resume school. Doubling public expenditure in these areas will bridge huge gaps in service provision in these critical areas which are important for the early containment of COVID-19.

“Due to the devastating impact of lock-down measures which have resulted in massive hunger among people working in the informal economy, ASCAB called for urgent payment of emergency cash grants to those working in the informal economy adding that it will boost local consumption and assist local industry to quickly recover from long closures occasioned by the lock-down.

“ASCAB listed steps the Federal Government needed to take in the next six months to reshape the country’s economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. They include doubling of the budgets for healthcare,  public sanitation, water supply, and public education, funding for PPEs and adequate compensation for healthcare professionals in the frontline of caring and treatment of COVID-19 patients;  intensified massive testing  and building more well-equipped isolation centers with adequate provision for the care of those in isolation; a separate stimulus package for the informal sector through their cooperatives and organizations to boost local economies having been excluded from the CBN N50bn grant due to conditionalities.”

The group also called for rapid provision of water and sanitation services, adding that states can be directly supported to provide both temporary and more permanent water supply technologies in communities and public places. 

It called for the provision and rehabilitation of collapsing healthcare infrastructures in the communities, rapid expansion of classrooms to decongest public schools both at primary and secondary school levels, support for development of local technologies for COVID-19 containment.

It observed that several universities and individuals had come up with designs for ventilators, respirators, face masks as well as claims on COVID-19 management and curative drugs, adding that the Federal Government should strengthen the framework to verify existing claims.

Leave a reply:

Site Footer

Sliding Sidebar

About us

Jehu's Blog site covers all niches from A-Z categories. #Viral News #Have you not heard.

Contact us

Phone: +2348063611906

Advertise with us

Contact +2348063611906 for Sponspored Ads,website promotion,youtube video promotion,etc.