Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) experts 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 on ‘Operational Health and Safety Industry: A necessity for Economic Empowerment and Development’ at the 10th anniversary of Hybrid Group held at the weekend.
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 fire accidents and related occurrences. 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, during the 2019 Fire Fighters Day in Abuja, that apart from scores of lives lost, over N5 trillion was lost to infernos between 2013 and 2018. 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 OSHAfrica, Ehi Iden, urged the government at all levels, organisations, and individuals to attach importance and value to lives. According to him, “when we keep our people safe and healthy, when we keep them out of the accident and keep them protected, the country remains productive, organisation remains productive and are able to pull out a dividend.”
The CEO of Hybrid Group, Dapo Omolade, in his remarks at the virtual event, 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.”