By Christiana Ekpa
Tbe House of Representatives on Tuesday moved to protect Nigerians workers from Compulsory Leave and Massive Job Losses
even as it’s Mandated the Committees on Labour and Productivity and COVID-19 to investigate, monitor and liaise with Corporate Institutions with a view to possible interventions to reduce the wage burden on such organizations.
This followed a motion on “Urgent Need to Protect Nigerian Workers from Compulsory Leave and Massive Job Losses” sponsored Hon. Henry Nwawuba.
Nwawuba Noted that the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) Pandemic which is significantly challenging the stability of corporate organizations and governments and ravaging the world has no doubt distorted global socio economic ecosystems;
He pointed out that, the protection and support for the organized and informal private sector workers under this unfortunate lockdown is very necessary for both continued economic and social development of Nigeria;
“Aware that a large number of Nigerian workers are being employed by both the organized private sector and big corporate organizations as well as the informal sector and medium scale industries with little or no job security and those workers have no other benefits like the regular civil servants, as provided in the Labour Act;
“Also aware that most of the workers have been working from home since the lockdown without asking for extra pay or gratuity, however some banks and institutions have started asking their staff to proceed on compulsory leave;
“Worried that there are indications that most employers of labour, after the Corona Virus crisis, may not be willing or able when it comes to taking the decision to terminate a large number of their employees judging by perception from economic and corporate data, largely due to the unforeseen and unexpected COVID-19 outbreak;
“Disturbed by the unusual circumstance of negative threat of mass sack of workers which definitely will be devastating to citizens; and this will be consequent on several weeks of economic and business paralysis occasioned by the lockdown which has stretched the limits of some organizations and corporate businesses which are beginning to buckle under the weight of the wage burden they may be carrying without corresponding productivity and necessary support from government;
“Concerned that if the needful is not done as quickly as possible to bolster key sectors through Federal Government economic packages in terms of income support, tax credits or tax deferrals, short-term work schemes, wage subsidies and tax moratoriums on loan payments for those organizations, unimaginable mass job losses loom in Nigeria and this could lead to a great distortion in the economic growth graph of the nation”
According to him, “concerned that if policy actions are not taken to reduce the socio-economic impact of the pandemic through the establishment of a Job Retention Scheme for COVID-19 Pandemic where governments commit to saving jobs by ensuring that workers are not laid off, as obtainable in other climes he said.