By Victor Young

National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, has called on the Federal Government to make wearing of facemasks compulsory, as part of the measures to contain COVID-19 pandemic.

President of the union, John Adaji, in a statement, commended plans by Lagos State government to enforce the use of facemasks in public places as part of the measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The union also lauded the decision of South-West governors to make wearing of facemasks compulsory for everybody coming out of their homes effective from Friday, April 24.

The statement reads in part: “We commend the concerted efforts by all stakeholders in Nigeria to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“In particular, we commend the rapid response by the Lagos State Government led by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his team. We commend the proactive measures by the state government to manage and contain the spread of the disease since the index case was confirmed in February.

“We also commend President Muhammadu Buhari for promptly setting up the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, and approval of a number of measures to contain the spread of the disease and mitigate its impact on the citizens and economy.

“Other state governments have also commendably taken necessary measures, including temporary and total lockdown, to contain the spread of the disease in their respective states.

“The Nigeria Centre for Disease and Control, NCDC, led by the Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, is also doing a good job in coordinating the testing and management of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.

“We salute the health workers and other workers worldwide who are working day and night to help to manage and contain the spread of the dreaded COVID-19. The good news is that the number of discharged cases/recoveries in Nigeria and even globally is on the increase.

“Nigeria has recorded 170 discharged COVID-19 cases as at April 19, based on the figure from the NCDC.

“Some countries are gradually lifting lockdown restrictions without compromising the basic preventive measures particularly the use of face masks.”

The Union called on “the Federal and state governments to look inwards in the procurement of protective devices and other materials, which Nigeria has the capacity to produce locally.

“It is against this background that we commend the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu; Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, and Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, for supporting the local production of cloth facemasks.”

NUTGTWN also grieved “in solidarity with President Muhammadu Buhari on the death of his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, due to COVID-19 complications.

“We also commiserate with the families of all the victims of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and the world at large.”


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