Chris Steven, Abuja
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has decried the lack of reliable data on occupational accidents and diseases sustained in the course of work in Nigeria.
The Minister who was represented by the Director, Occupational Safety and Health, Ifeoma Anyanwutaku stated this while delivering his keynote address on the occasion of the commemoration of the 2017 World day for safety and health at work, with the theme “Optimise the Collection and Use of OSH Data.”
According to the Minister “every year, millions of people get sick, injured or die as a result of occupational accidents and diseases sustained in the course of work, with just a few cases being reported.
Ngige emphasised that data collection is essential for policy-making at both national and enterprise levels. It is also essential for planning purposes, allowing for the setting of priorities and targets of action.
Towards this end, he disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has developed the National Profile on Occupational Safety and Health as well as regulations bordering on OSH.
He added that the Ministry on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria joins the global community to improve capacity to collect and utilize reliable occupational Safety and Health data to fulfil its commitment to implement and report on Goal No. 8 of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which provides for the promotion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all.
Ngige, therefore, urged Nigerian workers to report workplace accidents and diseases to prevent reoccurrences to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment via SMS or WhatsApp or voice call to 08085814505 or email: email@example.com.
Earlier in his remarks, the Country Director of the International Labour Organisation, Dennis Zulu represented by Ally Cisse revealed that a worker dies every 15 seconds while 153 workers have work-related accidents every 15 seconds, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work- related diseases per day with a total figure of 2.3 million deaths per year. He added that the celebration of the world day for safety and health at work is an international agenda to alert governments and stakeholders at all levels on the need for practical action.
In their separate goodwill messages; the representative of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Maureen Onyia-Ekwuazi and the representative of the Director-General of the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association Balogun Odunayo appreciated the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment at ensuring that workplaces are safe, thereby minimising workplace accidents. They both pledged the continued support of the social partners to the Occupational Safety and Health drive of the Ministry.