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Labour Minister orders Ogun battery factory shut over health hazards to workers



The Minister of Labour and Employment (State), Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, on Friday, ordered the immediate shutdown of the Metal Manufacturing Company, Gbara, in Sagamu Local Government for exposing its workers to dangerous health hazards.

The Minister who paid an unscheduled visit to the factory, said she took the action after receiving several petitions against the unhealthy practices of the company which is into battery manufacturing.

She added that after repeated warnings from the Occupational Safety and Health Department of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, the company still failed to provide protective gears for the workers.

“After being told of what is happening here at this company, I told my staff to come around and instruct them to do what the law says because they deal with lead which is quite harmful,” Onyejeocha told journalists.

“I told them that the company should do some cleaning up and ensure that their workers are properly kitted so that their lives will not be endangered unnecessarily but I later got the report that the company has refused to do anything.

“So I came here from Abuja to see things for myself, and what I have seen here is worse than what was described to me. It is awful and unacceptable.

“We met the workers without their boots on, packing things with their hands, and no helmet on their heads. Those running this company won’t dare do this in their own country. I have pronounced that the company is prohibited until the management is ready to do things as it is provided for in the laws of our land.

“I have never seen the kind of irresponsibility I am seeing at this factory from any manufacturer, though, they are telling me that theirs is still better but I have told them that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration will never tolerate this illegality, especially for those who considered the country a dumping ground and where they could get cheap labour and do things to suit them, making money at the expense of Nigerians.

“President Tinubu’s government is really against these sharp practices and for those who are not ready to operate according to the rules of the land, they are free to wind up and go; they should stop subjecting our people to such dehumanising conditions under the guise of providing employment for them,” she noted.


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