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One Year After UI Student Crushed To Death in Ibadan, FG Recieves Panel Report


One Year After UI Student Crushed To Death in Ibadan, FG Recieves Panel Report

Almost a year after soap-making machine crushed a 300-level Student of University of Ibadan to death, Gbadebo Richard, Panel of Inquiry set up to investigate his death has submitted its report to the Federal Government.

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo, received the report on behalf of the Federal Government at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

While presenting the report to the Minister, Chairman of the Panel, Lauretta Nneka Adogu, who is also the Director, Occupational Safety and Health Department of the Ministry, said the members of the investigative panel did a thorough job “in a fair, transparent, diligent and professional manner,” as they promised at the inauguration of the panel.

According to Adogu, every party involved made a presentation on the matter. The parties involved are: the Head of Factories of Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Abope Chambers that made a call for setting up the panel in line with ILO Convention C155, Factories Act Section 38(2b), the family of the deceased, solicitor to the company, and Expand Global Industries Limited (Henkel).

She disclosed that the parties were interviewed and the members’ observations and recommendations were noted down.

The chairman, however, explained that there were dissenting opinions over the recommendations which the panel was presented to the minister.

Receiving the report, Keyamo called for an increased investigation into the causes of workers’ safety incidents in workplaces, as a way of preventing future occurrences.

He stated that when safety incidents occur in workplaces, it is the function of the ministry to ascertain the causes and make recommendations to prevent future occurrences.

Keyamo stated the need “to up the ante, raise the standard” in safeguarding the workers in workplaces, as “the safety of workers is one of the paramount considerations of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and all those involved in the world of work.”

The Minister noted that the panel was set up in furtherance of guaranteeing the safety of workers.

“We know that lives have been lost, or (a) life has been lost, but the major reason we do all of these is to ensure that other workers, who work within the Nigerian territory, are in a safe enough environment,” he said.

He pointed out that it was a departure from the attitude and responses to such incidents in the past, where when such happened, people carried on as if the lives and limbs lost were not important at all.

Keyamo stated that though the report comprises majority and minority parts, it showed the fair and balanced nature of the panel, and projected the different backgrounds of members of the panel.

The Minister stated that whatever recommendations contained in the report, “the paramount consideration would be to ensure that our workplaces are safe.”

He commended the Chairman and other members of the panel for their dedication to duty and the expeditious manner in which they carried out their assignment.

Gbadebo was a penultimate student of European Studies, he died while working at the premises of Expand Global Industries Ltd, Ibadan, Oyo State (Henkel).

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