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Safe Work Space: Rivers NLC Embarks On Sensitization, Mobilization Of Influencers To Shore Up Covid-19 Uptake

This press briefing is meant to keep us abreast with the NLC’s involvement with sensitization and mobilization to get the workers in the Covid-19 high burdened states and workers and the masses in other parts of Nigeria to go for testing and vaccination against the Covid-19 disease.
The coronavirus, also known as Covid-19 was discovered in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. The virus and the accompanying disease spread around the world causing social and economic dislocations for individuals and organizations, especially in 2021 and 2022.
The first index case of Coronavirus in Nigeria was confirmed on the 27th of February, 2020 through an Italian citizen who came from Milan, Italy to Lagos, on the 25th of February, 2020.
The world of work has been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic since it was discovered in China in 2019. The pandemic has threatened and caused economic and social disruptions for businesses and individuals around the world. Work places were closed down, with many workers thrown out of employment because the employers could not maintain the pre-Covid-19 pay and incentives for them.

COVID-19, when it came, changed the social and economic aspects of our lives. It also transformed the work environment, dictating how, where and when work is done.
With the disruptions caused by the pandemic in places of work and in the society, it became very necessary for the working people in Nigeria to be mobilized for testing and vaccination against the disease so that the workplace will be free of Covid-19, for optimal productivity to be attained.
It was in light of this development that the NLC sought the support of the Global Fund to undertake the project, “Social Mobilization for Covid-19 Testing and Vaccination in the Workplace” to compliment the efforts of the government on public health management in Nigeria. The project is being supervised by National Agency for the control of Aids (NACA).

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The focus of the project is for the NLC to engage in massive mobilization and sensitization of the workers and their employers to embrace testing for and vaccination against Covid-19. This is because the workplace provides access to workers in their large numbers and can be used to provide them with information on the pandemic.
The project was intended for implementation in the 12 high burdened Covid-19 states in Nigeria, which are Lagos, Rivers, Kaduna, Plateau, Oyo, Edo, Ogun, Delta, Ondo, Kano, Kwara and the FCT. The timeline for the project was from January 2021 to 31st December, 2023.
The activities carried out so far under this project include:
Review and Validation of the Workplace Guideline on Covid-19;
The C19 RM Grant Start-up Orientation Workshop which held on the 11th and 12th January, 2022 in Abuja. The programme had 25 participants drawn from the stakeholders’ organizations;
Top Management Labour Leaders and Implementation Units for Social Mobilization: State Focal Persons and Top Leaders of unions involved in the implementation of the project. A total of 25 participants were in attendance at the programme.

National Staff Orientation Meeting on 5th to 6th July, in Abuja. The programme had 25 participants in attendance;
Step down Training for State Co-coordinators 8th and 9th and 11th and 12th August, 2022 in the 12 states. 25 participants attended the programme in each of the 12 states;
Risk communication for Peer influencers in the 12 states from 21st to 22nd 2022 and 24th and 25th November, 2022. 55 participants attended the programme in each of the 12 states.
Comrades, ladies and gentlemen, there may be skeptics and skepticism about Covid-19 with many tempted to ask, where is Covid-19, that labour is disturbing people. The project, Sensitization and Social Mobilization for Uptake of Covid-19 Testing and Vaccination, aside from sensitizing and mobilizing the workers to go for testing and vaccination against Covid-19, provides the trade unions with the opportunity to test run our readiness for emergency situations. Trade unions as organizations servicing their members are not only to be reactive but also need to pre-empt situations. So, we are using the Sensitization and Social Mobilization for Uptake of Covid-19 Testing and Vaccination as veritable leverage to put ourselves in a very good stead to test run our preparedness on how to manage future emergencies like the Coronavirus pandemic or outbreak of epidemics in the country.

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The programme is also being used to mobilize and organize the workforce in preparedness for recruitment of the broader working people to embrace and keep pace with what the trade unions are doing to safeguard the interests of the working people and the downtrodden masses. The progamme also aims to bring working people together, to organize workers to address whatever their priorities are in their work environment and in the society. The programme focuses on listening to build workplace community to build trust and respect among the workers and the masses to take responsibility of ownership of their fate to fight for what is right in the workplace and in the society.
The project also focuses on getting the workers to work among themselves to concentrate on steps to take to get something done or get them to act to get good results in their favour on issues of concern to them.
The project, “Social Mobilization for the Uptake of COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination in the Workplace” will certainly prepare the NLC and the working people of Nigeria to be in a good stead to address future emergencies like we had in Covid-19.
We are using this opportunity to call on the employers of labour to take measures to minimize the risk of transmission of Covid-19 among workers, visitors, contractors and all those who are involved in business with the workplace by ensuring that there is proper hygiene in the workplace.
The state governments have the intrinsic power to regulate the public health, safety, and welfare of their people. It is in the light of this that we are calling on all the state governments not to abdicate their responsibilities of ensuring that all the people in their domains are mobilized to go for testing and also get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Gentlemen of the press, Comrades, ladies and gentlemen, by tomorrow, we will be taking our sensitization campaign to —————Company and ———– Company to get the workers to go for testing and vaccination for Covid-19. On ————————- May, 2023, we will engage the workers of ———————– Motor Park and —————————– Motor Park on the need to get them to also get tested and vaccinated against the disease.
Thank you for listening and for your time.

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State Coordinatorn____ State Council
NLC Covid-19 Response Mechanism

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