Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal government has urged the country’s scientists and researchers to urgently and practically work for a home-grown cure to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country. This is even as it has charged organised labour to research and come up with new and safer workplace culture as the country begins gradual easing of the lockdown and finds measures to survive the pandemic.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said this yesterday in Abuja at the daily briefing of the committee.
“I have been encouraged by the feedback from Nigerians on the need to deepen research into COVID-19 so that a home-grown cure could be found. Part of the mandate of the PTF is to build a strong base for research. I, therefore, urge our scientists and researchers to come up with their findings and follow the validation protocols.
“Although the spike in numbers coming out of Kano is a bit worrisome, global trends show that such indicates the discovery of previously undetected cases and creates greater opportunities for detection, isolation, care, and management,” the SGF said.
Mustapha, while congratulating workers on Labour Day, noted that the way Nigerians, including workers, had lived before the outbreak of the pandemic, would change permanently.
He advised that the new ways workers must adopt, going forward, should include the fact that they must always remain efficient to support productivity, noting that the workforce was key to national economic growth.
“The atmosphere for this year’s celebration, more than anything else, forcefully reminds us of the disruption to our hitherto normal way of life and challenges us not only as workers but also as citizens, and to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to return to a semblance of normalcy. The reality is that our lives, the way we knew it, can never be the same again, post-COVID-19.
“The reality further challenges the labour movement to carry out research and develop new strategies for workplace operations, and identify innovative ways of ensuring that the productivity of the labour force remains a key driver to the nation’s economic growth. Particularly, the challenges we are currently facing in the health sector on account of COVID-19, should be given adequate attention.
“This year’s Labour Theme: “Maintaining Safety and Security in the workplace” further emphasizes the importance of ensuring that all Nigerian workers are adequately protected to increase their productivity. Similarly, it places on the workers the obligation to take responsibility by adhering to the implementation guidelines that have been developed and circulated especially in this COVID-19 era,” Mustapha said.