By Victor Young

Lagos State council of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has raised the alarm that relief materials, meant as lockdown palliatives, were yet to reach indigent and vulnerable residents in the state to cushion the effects of the stay-at-home directive as the nation fight the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic.

A statement by state’s NLC Chairman, Agnes Sessi, commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu “for the exemplary and enviable leadership and zeal in the fight against Coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging nations worldwide.”

She said: “We have observed that in the distribution of relief materials to the indigent and most vulnerable in the state to cushion the effects of the stay-at-home directive, the target recipients are yet to be reached.

We implore the state government to make the process more seamless and stress free by deploying already established structures in the state such as market groups, organisations, social groups, trade unions and institutions to reach those in extreme need.

As workers, we are already feeling the impact of the development as it will most likely have a lot of implications on the revenue generation of the state.

We appeal that the government and other employers do all within their capacity to protect the jobs of workers/employees in the state.

We humbly request for tolerance in this trying period on the part of government, employers and workers as we are optimistic that with the level of commitment by the government in combating this scourge, this phase will pass.”

NLC, however, noted that “it is on record that the state has earned itself commendation, not only in Nigeria but the world at large.

The recent decision by the government to cater for minor medical and maternity expenses of Lagosians in state hospitals during this period is a welcome development and highly appreciated.

We appreciate the Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, and his team for the commitment and professional way the issue is being handled.

The untiring efforts of the doctors, nurses and health workers in assisting to combat this pandemic and ensuring the well-being of every citizen are recognised and highly appreciated.

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We call on the government to do all within its power to protect them in the line of duty by providing adequate Personal Protective Equipments, PPE, and motivating them through adequate compensation.

We shall not fail to recognise the laudable initiative of the government in the neighbourhood market as part of efforts to cushion the effect of the sit-at-home directive, but observed that the spread is not enough to meet the needs of Lagosians.”

The statement added that “we commend the state for the laudable initiatives in combating this scourge, while we appeal that issues raised above are addressed appropriately,” especially the lockdown palliatives getting to the right beneficiaries.

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