From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) has called on the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 and other State governments to buy Made-in-Nigeria cloth face masks, hand sanitizers and other protective equipment in line with the Federal Government’s executive order for patronage of locally produced goods.
President of the NUTGTWN,Comrade John Adaji, stated this in a statement made available to media in Kaduna yesterday.
The Textile workers advised
the Federal and State governments to look inwards in the procurement of protective devices and other materials which Nigeria has the capacity to produce locally.
Comrade John Adaji, President of the NUTGTWN, said on Tuesday that; it was against this background that they commended the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu, Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for supporting the local production of cloth face masks.
“More than ever before, we must learn to produce what we consume and consume what we produce. The Nigeria textile and garment industries with thousands of our members in the informal sector have the capacity to produce quality cloth face masks for the entire citizenry and even for export thereby saving the country huge foreign exchange in importation.”
”The advantage of locally produced cloth face masks is that it can be washed and reused. Cloth face masks can help prevent people who have the virus but may not be showing any symptoms from spreading it by containing the respiratory droplets that we all expel when we talk, cough, or sneeze.”
“We commend the concerted efforts by all stakeholders in Nigeria to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country. In particular, we commend the rapid response by the Lagos State Government led by the Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his team. We commend the proactive measures by the State government to manage and contain the spread of the disease since the index case was confirmed in February.”
“We also commend President Muhammadu Buhari for promptly setting up the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha and approval of a number of measures to contain the spread of the disease in Nigeria and mitigate its impact on the citizens and economy. Other State governments have also commendably taken necessary measures including temporary and total lockdown to contain the spread of the disease in their respective States.”
“The Nigeria Centre for Disease and Control (NCDC) led by the Director General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu is also doing a good job in coordinating the testing and management of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.”
“We salute the health workers and other workers worldwide who are working day and night to help to manage and contain the spread of the dreaded COVID-19.”
“The good news is that the number of discharged cases/recoveries in Nigeria and even globally is on the increase. Nigeria has recorded 170 discharged COVID-19 cases as at 19 April based on the figure from the NCDC. Some countries are gradually lifting lock down restrictions without compromising the basic preventive measures particularly the use of face masks.”
The workers said they supported the decision by the Lagos State Government to enforce the use of face masks in public places as part of the measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“The South West Governors have also made wearing of face masks compulsory for everybody coming out of their homes effective from Friday 24 April, 2020 in their respective states.”
“We call on the Federal Government and other State Governors to emulate the South West Governors and make wearing of face masks in all public places in Nigeria compulsory until the country is free from the COVID-19 pandemic. This becomes necessary as the country tackles community spread of the disease.
“We hereby grief in solidarity with the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari on the death of his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, on Friday 17th April due to COVID-19. We also commiserate with the families of all the victims of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and the world at large.