Friday, August 14,2020
The federal government has made troubling revelations about Inner Galaxy Steel Company Limited.
The Chinese firm is located at Obehie, Ukwa-West Local Government Area of Abia State.
A few days ago, a Nigerian on Twitter published an explosive thread about the inhumane activities of the company.
His tweets were liked and retweeted by thousands of users.
Respondents called on the authorities to immediately act.
They condemned the use of Nigerians as slaves in their own country.
In a statement sent to DAILY POST on Friday, FCCPC said it got “credible reports of unfair treatment of Nigerian employees.”
Babatunde Irukera, FCCPC Chief Executive Officer, said “Yesterday, August 13th, operatives from the South-East and South-South zonal offices conducted an investigatory stop at the company’s location in Obehie.”
The agency said initial findings revealed that employees are housed on work premises in less than ideal boarding conditions.
“Some employees felt restrained on-site and unable to leave, even though going home has been their preference; A workplace injury previously occurred and led to amputation with respect to an employee; Employees were required to work non-stop shifts of 11 hours with inadequate breaks.”
Irukera noted that there are possible questions about the company’s compliance with prevailing standards for the steel/iron products it makes.
FCCPC said it secured an express and urgent commitment from the company to take steps to improve the living conditions of on-site employees.
These include purchase of foams/mattresses for their bunk beds, and cooling fans; Modification of required working hours from 11 to 8 hours daily; Discontinuance of mandatory quarantine on-site for employees who desire to depart the facility; Improvement of on-site medical access and responsiveness.
“With respect to the work-related accident that led to serious injuries (amputation), considering the circumstances are currently subject of litigation, the company was disinclined to make statements.
“Regarding the quality of the company’s products, the Commission has opened an active investigation and is commencing materials testing to determine compliance with prevailing standards.
“The company recognizes it is under monitoring and supervision pending the satisfactory resolution of all outstanding or open issues. The Commission is making a fuller report and transmitting to the more relevant Ministry/Agency for follow up, monitoring and compliance.
“The enforcement mechanisms including penalties (where applicable) under relevant laws and processes of the appropriate ministry, department or agency, for violations in these circumstances should take their course”, the statement added.