The Public Complaints Commission (PCC), yesterday, disclosed that it plans to open a full-scale probe into the alleged maltreatment of workers by a Chinese firm, BN Ceramics in Kogi State.
The Chief Commissioner Public Complaint Commission, Chile Igbawua, who stated this while receiving the Pan African Youth Development Network, in his office in Abuja, said: “We are taking up this matter and we would ensure workers that have been maltreated by BN Ceramics are duly compensated.”
The Youth Network had raised an alarm over the ill-treatment of workers by the Chinese firm on allegations of poor staff welfare, engaging in sexual harassment of the female staff, workers slavery, among others.
The National President of the Youth Network, Habib Mohammed, while tendering evidence of the allegations, said: “When we went for on the spot assessment of the situation in the company, we found out how our youths are being treated as slaves and molested in their own country.
“So we said, ‘No, we will not allow these foreign investors to sabotage the efforts of the Federal Government.’ We have evidence on how the machines being used at the company has created a lot of hazards for the workers, as they are exposed to the machines and some even die during the process.
Workers are not provided with safety equipment and some of them even paid for them to be employed.” Mohammed also decried the lack of health facilities in the multibillion-dollar facility that house several workers.
“We gave them seven days ultimatum to put in place the health clinic but rather than do that they started publishing malicious allegations against us, alleging that we collected N2million from them, and this is not true.”
Responding, Igbawua assured that he would personally probe the matter, adding that appropriate steps would be taken to right all the wrongs going on at BN Ceramics, and West African Ceramics, both located in Kogi State.
He noted that there are labour laws and industrial standards, as people working in industrial companies are entitled to protective equipment as well as a minimum condition of service.
The Commissioner commended the youth organisation for their doggedness in bringing the issues to limelight. He said: “The Industrial Compensation Act deals on compensation to be paid to workers injured in their line of duty due to lack of protective equipment.”
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