Minister of Labour and Employment Senator Chris Ngige, has called for a speedy pass of the Occupational and Health Bill before the National Assembly.
Ngige said this in Abuja on Wednesday at a two-day National Awareness and Sensitisation Workshop on Occupational, Safety and Health (OSH) for major industries and government agencies in Nigeria.
The workshop was organised by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in partnership with Global Network Monitoring and Development Initiative, its theme is: “Emergency Preparedness and Response for Workplace System Resilience’’.
The minister was represented by Dr Ifeoma Anyawutaku, Director, Occupational, Safety and Health in the ministry.
Ngige said that it was imperative to create awareness on risks faced in various places of work and ways of tackling the challenges.
“The Occupational Safety and Health Bill in the Legislature, still awaiting passage, is the key to effective OSH communication.
“We believed the current Legislature will pass the bill and other labour bill that are pending before the end of its tenure. The Nigerian workers will be better for it. ‘’he said.
He said that the ministry of labour and employment was committed to domesticating the International Labour Organsition’s Convention C.187 on Promotional Framework on Occupational Safety and Health in Nigeria.
According to him, the ministry is determined to boosting the occupational safety and health in the administrative services and offices beyond the regularly covered industrial working environment.
“This will enhance the performance of the National Occupational Safety and Health Management System to boost the occupational safety and health preventative culture in the world of work.
“This workshop is expected to add value to your knowledge on the various occupational safety and health policies and programmes, ‘’he said.
Also, Mr Mohammed Haruna, Executive Director, Global Network Monitoring and Development said the workshop was crucial to advocate for safe workplace in various organisation in the country.
Haruna said that Nigeria lacked emergency preparedness and responses to health and safety issues in the country.
“How prepare are we, if there is an emergency in our homes, workplace, among others.
“We need to be prepared at all time, we are always rushing into issues and we end up making half hazard arrangement in tackling problems.
“So, it is very important that this awareness is created to educate people about occupational health and safety because accident does not only happen in the industries but could be anywhere.’’
A participant, Mr Quintus Azogu, Asst. Controller General, Policy, Regulatory Department in the Federal Fire Service commended the organisers for the programme.
Azogu said that programme was timely as there had been a lot of fire out breaks in the country due to the dry season.
He said at it was important for Nigerians to be careful and prepared for any unfortunate occurrence that may occur.