Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) experts on a virtual meeting held on Saturday 29th August 2020 have rued the losses incurred in HSE-related incidents and called on the Federal Government to maximise the potential the industry offers to boost the country’s economy.
The experts made this known during a panel discussion with its theme ‘Operational Health and Safety Industry: A necessity for Economic Empowerment and Development’ at the 10th anniversary of Hybrid Group.
One of the panelists, Jamiu Badmos, Executive Director of Strategy, Safety Advocacy and Empowerment Foundation, lamented that Nigeria had lost several billions of naira to preventable fires and related emergencies. He said if the losses were to be summed up, it would have gone a long way to hasten the nation’s economic growth.
The Federal Fire Service recently noted, with the national statistics release by the national collation centre as published in the July 2020 edition of Fire Fighters Magazine reveal that over 2.76 billion naira worth of property was lost to lives and property in the third quarter of 2019. The losses excluded those that were not reported to the service.
Another panelist, Mrs Aderonke Odeneye, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Environment, said the current state of the country, amidst the prevalent consequences of the pandemic, makes for no better time to start focusing on the operational safety in industry.
President of OHSAfrica, Ehi Iden, urged the government at all levels, organizations, and individuals to attach importance and value to lives and property. According to him, “when we keep our people safe and healthy, when we keep them out of fire incident and keep them protected, the country remains productive, organization remains productive and are able to pull out credible dividend of democracy.”
The CEO of Hybrid Group, Dapo Omolade, in his remarks at the virtual meeting, said the firm had in the past decade “weathered through various storms.
“The business faced anxiety, unpredictable business landscape, changing fortunes of economy, instability in government and economic policies, and inadequate infrastructure, but came out stronger.”