Institute wants safety, security of workers prioritised

The Environment and Safety Management Institute (ESMI) has urged the government and other stakeholders to prioritise the safety and security of workers in the country.

Alhaji Usman Ibrahim, Emir of Nasarawa Emirate and Chairman, Board of the institute, made the call at the 4th National Stakeholders’ Seminar on Environment and Safety organised by ESMI on Tuesday in Abuja.

The theme of the seminar was ‘Banditry as a Threat to Occupational Safety in Nigeria.”

Ibrahim, who was represented by Mr Sunday Edibo, member of ESMI board, said ‘safety first is safety always.’

The traditional ruler said that prioritising workers safety involved the implementation of comprehensive safety measures, providing proper training and retraining of personnel.

He said it also entailed inter agency collaboration to address root causes of banditry and other forms of violence.

Ibrahim decried that the country was faced with a growing challenge of banditry threatening the safety and security of workers across all sectors in the

Citing Wikipidia, he described banditry as ‘a type of organised crime committed by outlaws (bandits) typically involving threat or use of violent acts.”

He said that such act could be in form of robbery, kidnapping, extortion and murder in an ungoverned space or areas where rule of law had broken down.

Ibrahim said that the negative impact of banditry cut across every sector of the economy which included agriculture, educational institutions, religious, among others.

‘In agriculture, our largest economic sector for instance farmers and farm workers are brazenly kidnapped from their farms, houses and processing factories leading to disruption of agricultural value chain.

‘This adversely affects our food production, transportation, processing and marketing systems; exacerbating food insecurity, unemployment and poverty.

‘Our educational institutions are not spared; our youths who are leaders of tomorrow are kidnapped in broad day light and subjected to harrowing trauma which survivors often expe
rience symptoms such as post trauma stress, depression and anxiety.

‘These conditions can significantly impair individual’s ability to function in daily life and maintain healthy relationship with members who may feel guilt for not been able to protect their loved one, ‘he said.

He added that bandits also vandalised power lines; thereby making the nation’s quest for stable power supply seemingly untenable.

Ibrahim said that the incidents not only affected lives of individuals at risk but disrupted the smooth functioning of businesses and governance as well as putting the economy in jeopardy.

On his part, Mr Martins Torsamber, National President of ESMI, said the seminar was informed by the rising spate of banditry.

Torsamber said the seminar was for professionals to brainstorm and come up with best solutions in tackling banditry in the country and to reduce its consequences on workers in the country.

According to him, occupational safety is not only referring to workers.

‘We are referring to the farmer
s, artisans, craftsman, as well civil servants,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria