Richard Gbadebo: Panel submits inquiry into UI student’s death to FG

The findings of the Panel of Inquiry set up to investigate the death of a University of Ibadan (UI) student, who died while he was working at Expand Global Industries Ltd, Ibadan (Henkel), have been submitted 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 premises.

The panel chairperson, Lauretta Nneka Adogu, stated while presenting the report that the members of the investigative panel had done a thorough job just like they promised to when the panel was inaugurated.

According to the chairperson, each party involved made a presentation on the matter. The parties involved: Head of Factories of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Abope Chambers, the family of the deceased, Expand Global Industries Limited, and Company Counsel.

She stated that all parties were interviewed and that their observations were noted in the report. She also revealed that some of the parties involved had a difference of opinion about the recommendations presented to the minister.

After receiving the report, the minister called for further investigation into the cause(s) of workers’ safety incidents in workplaces and how to prevent future occurrences and added that when such lamentable situations occur, it is on the ministry to investigate and prevent any future occurrences.

Keyamo stated that when it came to safeguarding workers, there was a need to up the ante and raise the standard as, in his words, “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.”

He also noted that the panel was set up to guarantee the safety of workers, saying: “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 stated that, unlike in the past when the attitude to such an incident was to carry on as if lives/limbs lost were not important, that was not the case anymore.

He also commended the members of the panel for their dedication to duty in speedily carrying out the investigation and assured that the report would be used to ensure the safety of our workspaces going forward.

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