The Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has called for concerted efforts by government, businesses and workers to address the effects of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic on employments and remunerations.
Olukanni said that the advice became necessary because the chamber, in recognising the role and importance of workers, devoted attention to their welfare.
He, however, noted that the celebration of 2020 May Day was shrouded in very unusual environment and circumstances, unprecedented in the history of industrialisation.
He stressed that the issue of job losses and inability of government and private sector to pay salaries had naturally dominated headlines and was of major concern to the Chamber, workers and business operators.
As a result, Olukanni advised that all efforts be made not to sack workers and steps be taken by business establishments to negotiate payment of salaries to workers.
“NACCIMA joins the rest of the nation to salute Nigerian workers on occasion of this year’s May Day which is internationally recognised and celebrated across the world.
NACCIMA chambers and corporate members recognise the role and importance of their workers hence, they devote a lot of attention to their welfare.
“We are aware some of our members have agreed to pay their workers part of their salaries or 50 per cent of their salaries for the month of April when there was almost complete lockdown and many of the workers were at home and not working.
“This is a strategic way by our members and other various employers to manage their liquidity at this difficult times; as they look forward to when life will be back to normal.
“For now we are still in unusual times and it’s a time for what we can describe as “Shared Sacrifices” between workers, business owners and management.
“We are also in support of the call for tax deferment, moratorium on loan payments, among others, to help keep private sector from going under completely.
“But to prevent and discourage sacking of workers, consideration should also be given to what has been described as Pay-Chek Protection Programme; and Job Security Programme for the private sector.
“This will certainly involve support of government to the private sector in this regard, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“And we hope governments both at the federal and state levels will look into this.
With the ongoing preparations for gradual return to work on May 4, the NACCIMA director-director advised a gradual and staggered return.
He urged business operators to ensure safety and security of the work environment to prevent a resurgence.
“The work environment should be properly cleaned up and workers on their part must adhere to all safety and health protocols,” he said.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)