Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies,(SSASCGOC), has kicked against the decision by the Federal Government to bar civil servants without proof of COVID-19 vaccination or test result done within seventy two hours from their offices with effect from first December this year.
Speaking to journalists in Asaba, President General of the Association, Comrade Muhammad Yunusa warned that they would react if Federal Government enforces the directive of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 to bar federal workers from their offices without proof of taking vaccines with effect from December 1.
”We feel strongly after analyzing everything that it is wrong. This association does not accept the position of government. Taking of covid 19 vaccine should not be made compulsory.If a Nigerian worker takes the vaccine, and slumps and dies, that is the end of the story. Did government say anything that if you take the vaccine,and dies, this is what they will give as compensation ? If there is any state in the country where our members are being forced to go and take the vaccine, we will react so seriously about it”, Yunusa warns.
Delegates from over fifty branches of Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies,(SSASCGOC), converged on Asaba for their NAC, CWC and NEC meetings bothering on issues affecting their members as well as key national issues.
Recall that the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha announced that Federal Government workers without proof of COVID-19 vaccination or test results done within 72 hours would be denied access to their offices starting from December 1.
But the President General of the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies,Comrade Yunusa said the order compelling all federal workers to take the Covid 19 vaccines before first December this year would be resisted by the association leadership following complaints by workers.
The labour leader alleged that there were reported cases of persons who died of covid 19 complications despites taking the full doses of the vaccines.
He stated further, ”The government itself told us that even if you take the two jabs, it is not a guarantee that you will not be affeceted by the corona virus……Some people have taken the vaccines and have died of the same Covid-19. So, it is a contradiction.”
Comrade Yunusa said what the federal and state governments needed to do was to strenghen the various sensitization campaigns on the safety protocols for preventing the spread of covid 19 which he highlighted to include regular washing of hands with soap under running water,use of alcohol based sanitizer, physical or social distancing and using facemasks.
He appealled to the federal government to reconsider its stands in the interest of workers.
On the prevailing insecurity in parts of the country, Comrade Yunusa said a lot needed to be done by the federal government and the security agencies to combat the worrisome situations.
While attributing widespread poverty and economic difficulty to the rising insecurity in the country especially North West, Comrade Yunusa urged the relevant ministries and agencies implementing the National Social Investment Programmes of the federal government to ensure that the money meant for the poor was not diverted.
He said rather than giving out cash to the beneficiaries by hand, the money should be paid directly into the bank accounts of the would be beneficiaries.
On issues bothering on welfare of members of Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies, the President General said the use of peaceful negotiation rather than strike had helped in meeting their demands or resolving their grievances.
He encouraged workers to continue to develop their skills and knowledge to enable them to remain relevant at all times in their places of work.
Comrade Yunusa said the association with over fifty branches nationwide and created by law as far back 1978, was key to the social economic development of the country in view of the productive capacity of members who are senior staff in statutory corporations and government owned companies.