By Joan Nwagwu
OTUWA President Mademba Sock said this during the opening session of a two-day sub-regional workshop on COVID-19 and post-containment socio-economic recovery in Africa. ‘West Monday in Abuja.
“In our sub-region, we face a chronic lack of resources to revive the civil service at a time of pandemic when needed for the type of direct cash transfers that we have seen in developed western countries.
“We have seen how billions of dollars have been deployed by developed Western countries to purchase and store hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccines.
“This leaves hundreds of millions of people in developing countries with virtually none of these vaccines.
“Not only are these vaccines not available to our people, they are also expensive and our government has relied heavily on donations from a central pool called the Covax Initiative. “he said.
He said the workshop would review the efforts made in the sub-region by ECOWAS and each national government to make the vaccine available to tens of millions of ECOWAS citizens.
He said the workshop would review the economic measures put in place by various governments in the sub-region to stimulate investment in the economy of countries in large, small and medium enterprises.
Ms. Vanessa Phala, International Labor Organization (ILO), Country Director for Nigeria, noted that COVID-19 has wreaked unprecedented havoc on health, economic and social life in almost every country in the world, including including the rich industrialized countries.
Phala said there was a need for a strong tripartite response to the COVID-19 pandemic “and its impact on the world of work is the global call adopted by the ILO.”
“The global appeal that emphasizes the need to support a people-centered recovery. It also highlights the policies needed to shape a global response to the pandemic that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient.
“It calls for international cooperation and urgent solidarity to deploy vaccines and provide adequate financial support, including debt relief, to counter the impact of the crisis on jobs and strengthen social protection,” she declared.
Phala therefore called on policymakers to strive to support a strong and broad recovery, focusing on jobs, incomes, workers’ rights and social dialogue.
She said policymakers should consider, among other issues, policies to ensure that hard-hit groups, including young people, women, low-paid and low-skilled workers, are supported to find decent work opportunities and that they do not suffer long – term “scar effects”.
“It is the role of OTUWA and its affiliates to ensure that recovery strategies are based on social dialogue, which promote a transition to a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable world of work,” he said. she declared.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, President of Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), stressed the need for the government to invest heavily in protecting jobs, providing effective and efficient health care due to the contrary situation of the pandemic of COVID-19.
Wabba, represented by its chief information officer by Mr. Benson Upah, urged governments and the organized private sector to explore strategic partnership options to revive struggling businesses to restore jobs and preserve common heritage.
“We call on the appropriate governments at all levels to reduce corruption in the system and the costs of governance. We cannot pretend that things are always what they were.
“Nevertheless, we consider it necessary to say that the time has come for the populations of the sub-region to take questions of governance and accountability in democracies more seriously.
“We are not armchair critics, nor are we agents of doom. We have made our modest contributions during the COVID lockdown, and even until this afternoon.
“We have had a strong advocacy campaign on the dangers of the COVID virus, the dangers of the COVID virus to the economy and how to preserve jobs during the COVID lockdown and its aftermath.
“We have issued statements and we have written to the relevant authorities on the need to stratify the interventions in such a way that at the end of the day we have a win-win situation, among others,” he said.
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