By Stanley Onyekwere
As part of the strategies to enhance efficiency and effective service delivery, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has sensitised some field workers on reducing to the barest minimum, all risks and hazards associated with their respective workplaces.
The participants, drawn from Parks and Recreation Department and Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), were engaged at a 1-Day workshop on ‘Advocacy on Workplace Hazard’, organised by FCTA through its Reform Coordination and Service Improvement(RCSI), yesterday in Abuja.
Declaring the workshop open, Acting Director, Human Resource Management of the FCT Administration, Akinnubi Ogunniran, noted that the programme was critical to ensuring efficiency in the system, because in a modern city like Abuja, so much is goong on, aside construction, buildings, maintenance of drainages and the city at large cannot be overemphasized.
Ogunniran said apart from physical hazards they are exposed to, there are health hazards too. Many of them sweeping the streets, don’t even know why they would not be protected against the dust and all the dirts they clean, and when they retire or during active duty, many of them have physical health challenges or psychological trauma or injuries that could be life threatening or impact their lives for very long time.
He adds: “I want to implore the organisers to make sure that they persistently do this awareness/sensitisation to all the relevant SDAs not only in the FCT, but sister agencies in other MDAs, on the need to really emphasise the hazards in our workplaces.”
He therefore urged the participants to take the programme very seriously, as they will be the ambassadors, who would take the cardinal message to their colleagues, neighbours and all those that work in hazardous jobs, to see how much risks they expose themselves to while doing their jobs.
Earlier in her welcome address by the Acting Director, RCSI, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, said the workshop was put together in fulfillment of the 6th Pillar of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and implementation (FCSSIP25), which is targeted at enhance value proposition for civil servants.
She added the new thinking of the Civil Service under the leadership of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, places high premium on the welfare of civil servants.
“To this end, the safety of our field workers wherever they find themselves providing essential services such as cleaning of our environment, maintenance of our facilities, we should make a deliberate policy that will protect and guide them against risks associated with this types of job schedule.
“For instance, I have come across some field workers especially the AEPB performing their duties without any form of protective gear therefore stand the risk of being exposed to health hazards of course, not only to themselves but extend to members of their families. This should not be allowed. We must at least set a minimum standard and that why this workshop very imperative.
“At this juncture, I implore the participants to henceforth demand for necessary protective tools from their employers that could aid in safeguarding their health conditions for optimum job performances.
“We cannot have our staff working around the city, without them being protected. We have them facing hazards on several occasions, which why the workshop was approved, so that our staff will have basic information that they need, to ensure that they avoid such hazards at their places of work.
“It is not going to be a one-off thing, because of the number that we have, this is the maiden edition, and it is going to be a continuous exercise, to enable us go across board our Secretariat, Departments and Agencies (SDAs).
“It is a new era of transformative civil service, so people should have all the necessary information available to them, and know the technical thing you need to do in the discharge of your duties”, she stressed.