NLC calls for national lockdown to stem spread of COVID-19

The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC has called for a national lockdown to contain the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.

The call is coming on the heels of global concern over the need for factories and businesses to be provided with fiscal stimulus and other support incentives to reduce effects of the pandemic on workers.

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President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba is commending the Lagos state government for the partial shut down of activities in the state.

Mr Ayuba laments poor health facilities in other states, and demands job protection for workers over the Coronavirus pandemic.

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In a statement, Nlc president criticised the self-isolation directive from stakeholders and called for provision of quarantine facilities across the country.

He also called for a national lockdown to contain the pandemic in the country.

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Amidst the chaos, the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation, ILO, Guy Ryder called for urgent, large-scale and coordinated measures across three pillars to tackle the  pandemic.

These are protecting workers in the workplace, stimulating the economy and employment, as well as supporting jobs and incomes.

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These measures include extending social protection, supporting employment retention, short-time work, paid leave and other subsidies.

Many economists have also recommended financial and tax reliefs, especially for micro, small and medium-size enterprises.

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In addition, economists across the world have  proposed fiscal and monetary policy measures, as well as lending and financial support for specific sectors of the economy.

Experts also warned that under-employment is expected to increase on a large scale, as economic consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic translates into reductions in working hours and wages.

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They are also of the view that self-employment in developing countries, which often serves to cushion impact of such changes, may not do well this time, due to restriction on movement of people.

It is predicted that people in less-protected and low-paid jobs, particularly youths and older workers, women and migrants, are more vulnerable, due to lack of social protection and rights.

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