Lockdown: NLC expresses worry over huge jobs loss after pandemic

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed worries over the implications of the lockdown, due to Coronavirus pandemic, on jobs security in the country.

The Lagos State Chapter Chairman, Mrs Agnes Sessi, raised the concern in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.

According to her, many people have lost their sources of livelihood as a result of the situation.

Sessi, therefore, appealed to the Federal and Lagos State Governments and other employers of labour to do everything within their capacity to protect the jobs of workers.

According to her, some manufacturing and multinational companies have stated that they require bailouts for them to be able to retain their staff strength at the end of the pandemic.

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“We are afraid of jobs losses, which will worsen the already chaotic situation of the saturated jobless market.

“The economic reality on ground, since there is limited cash flow, will have mitigating effect on all strata of the economy.

“And recovery may take time, which will also take its toll, mostly on the workforce.

“While senior cadres of the workforce may manage to survive the onslaught of this stay-at-home, the negative impact will be felt more by the lower cadres of the workforce.

“This workforce may need the support of their spouses doing menial trading for their families to survive.

“But for the lockdown, such moves cannot be achieved; which means they will also require bailout and relief support,” she said.

Sessi said many workers in the informal sectors had been disenfranchised from their daily livelihood, adding that the impact was causing more poverty and hunger to the people.

The chairman had earlier commended the state government for its exemplary and enviable leadership and zeal in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

She also lauded the state government’s initiatives in combating the disease in the state.

Sessi had in a statement said: ”We appreciate the Commissioner for Health, Prof. 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 are highly appreciated.

READ ALSO:COVID 19 lockdown: Lagos, Abuja to lose N1.6trn in 10 days

“We, however, 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.”

The chairman, while appreciating the neighbourhood market as part of efforts to cushion the effect of the sit-at-home directive, said that the spread was not enough to meet the needs of Lagosians.

She, however, noted that the target recipients in  the distribution of relief materials to indigents and most vulnerable in the state to cushion the effects of the directive, were yet to be reached.

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Sessi urged the government to make the process more seamless and stress free by deploying already established structures in the state.

She listed these to include market and social groups, organisations, trade unions and institutions to reach those in extreme need.

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