Health and safety professionals and groups in Nigeria have advocated for the establishment of a pressure group to advance the cause of health and safety practice in Nigeria.

This was made as part of recommendations for moving the practice of occupational safety and health forward in Nigeria at the monthly IOSH Informal Network Branch meeting which held in Ikeja, Lagos on February 17.

The recommendations were made following a panel discussion themed “The Roles of Professional Institutions in Developing Health and Safety Practice in Nigeria – Way Forward” by representatives of various safety professional organisations present at the meeting.

Panelists included: Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Hon. Hakeem Dickson; President, National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (NISCN), Cletus Akhigbe; Representative, Process Safety Group, Emmanuel Okudor; Nigerian Branch Chairman, International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM), Dr. Eugene Itua; and Lagos Interim Chairman, Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON), Femi Abiodun.

Others were: National Coordinator, Safety Advocacy and Empowerment Foundation (SAEF), Shamsideen Kadiri; Representative, World Safety Organisation, Agharese Ojelede; Representative, Occupational Safety and Health Africa (OSH Africa), Ehi Iden; and Coordinator, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Engr. Kayode Fowode.

According to a minute of the meeting signed by the National Secretary of IOSH Nigeria Informal Branch, Temitope Mudele, and obtained by Safety Record Newspaper, the panel also recommended “competency of members and regulations”.

Other recommendations at the meeting were “synergy of professional institutions and groups to form a pressure group to drive occupational health and safety rather than putting it on the government agency.”
The panel also recommended the “creation of a forum for professional institutions and groups to positively influence government agencies, creation of a platform for social dialogue and capacity building to improve occupational health and safety ability in the country.”

Another recommendation of the group was “enriched leadership commitment by public and private organisations” and “enhanced competency of the regulators.”
In the same vein, the panel recommended that “all professional institutions and groups come together to form a collaborative framework with a shared vision, one voice and one focus rather than to the existing approach of diverse visions.”

Also recommended was that the informal sectors were needed to “influence policy makers in making appropriate policies for the industry.”

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