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NECA joins IOSH towards promotion of Health and safety in Nigeria

 

Two leading organisations have joined forces to drive improvements in health and safety standards across Nigeria.

The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) have signed an agreement to pool resources into promoting health and safety and supporting businesses.

They have agreed to drive collaborative efforts that focus on corporate governance and occupational safety and health (OSH) as core elements of good working practice. They plan to champion and raise awareness of the value of OSH across Nigeria’s private, public and informal sectors, highlighting the International Labour Organization’s adoption International Labour Organization’s adoption of a safe and healthy work environment as a fundamental principle and right at work. In addition, they also plan to clarify employer and employee rights and compliance obligations.

NECA joins IOSH towards promotion of Health and safety in Nigeria
NECA joins IOSH towards promotion of Health and safety in Nigeria

It is hoped that the activities covered by the memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed on Tuesday 2 May, between the partners will lead to a reduction in workplace deaths and injuries and work-related ill health. It is estimated that there are 24 work-related fatalities per 100,000 employees every year in Nigeria, one of the highest rates in the world.

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The two parties agreed upon a strong desire to improve the lives of people in Nigeria, both socially and economically. They will use OSH advocacy, advisory services, training and other interventions, to help improve the quality of life and protection of livelihoods via the creation of safer workplaces in Nigeria.

Wale-Smatt Oyerinde, Director General of NECA, which represents private sector employers in Nigeria, said: “As Director General of NECA and member of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Governing Board, representing employers, I see our collaboration with IOSH as an important step to helping our members implement globally-recognised occupational safety and health (OSH) standards to protect workers.

“I also believe that by improving OSH standards, Nigerian businesses can become more productive and sustainable, find new export markets and also attract increased direct foreign investment.”

Ruth Lake, Director of Strategic and Commercial Development at IOSH, the global membership body for health and safety professionals, said: “This MOU marks an important milestone since the launch of IOSH’s West Africa Division in 2020 and the work we have been doing in the region to help improve the safety, health and wellbeing of workers.

“Considering the International Labour Conference (ILC) June 2022 resolution to adopt a safe and healthy work environment as a fundamental principle and right at work, we recognise the important role of employers and their organisations, in collaboration with governments and workers’ organisations, to put this into practice.

“Our collaboration with NECA forms an important part of IOSH’s mission to drive action from everyone that can influence and prioritise OSH standards across the world, as well as our commitment to a better future for all, by putting people at the heart of social sustainability.”

Ruth added: “Key to making this a reality in Nigeria will be the 250-plus IOSH members in the region together with our local network of approved training providers. We look forward to working with NECA and its members to help create a safer, healthier and more sustainable world of work for the citizens of Nigeria.”

The collaborative efforts will include communication, engagement and advocacy efforts with private sector organisations, public sector leaders and workers in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) across the three tiers of government.

It is intended this will raise standards and expectations of good OSH in operations and supply chains and build local OSH expertise to deliver against the needs of the country. It will also see improved access to OSH training, improved employment routes in OSH for professionals and non-professionals, improved OSH awareness for non-professionals, and more visibility of NECA and IOSH collaborative efforts aimed at delivering long-term sustainable environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact in Nigeria.

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