Cakasa, a construction firm operating in Calabar, has said that claims by the Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSAN) that it failed to adhere to safety procedures in its operations were untrue.
The company made the rebuttal in a news conference in Calabar on Friday, May 31.
Safety Record can report that Chairman of Cross River branch of ISSAN, Mr. Cosmos Akpiji, in a publication on Daily Trust newspaper of April 8, 2019, accused Cakasa and other companies operating in the Esuk Utan industrial site near Calabar of violating international safety practices.
He alleged that aside non-provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to workers, Cakasa also denied the union the benefit of negotiating for its workers engaged by the company.
Also, Akpiji alleged that Cakasa and the other firms engaged outsiders for jobs that there were competent people for in the state, saying it was against the union’s constitution.
However, the company described ISSAN’s accusations as false and misleading.
Cakasa’s Project manager, Engr. Nnan Anthony said that the firm re-ploughs 10% of its profit into safety measures.
“I felt so surprised that someone can take delight in dragging the good image of our company to the mud despite the several safety compliance awards received by our construction firm over the years,” he said.
Cakasa’s lawyer, Barrister Onamson Okafor said that the disagreement between ISSAN and the construction firm began when Union wrote a letter to the construction firm demanding that their members be employed into the construction firm stressing that even when the construction firm honoured the demands made by the union, the union went ahead to damage the construction firm’s image.
He alleged that Akpiji got N450,000 monthly payment from Cakasa but was still demanding more.
“We have never gone against any safety rule or practice. As a rule, before you embark on any work in any construction site, whether with my client or not, you must undergo what we call safety drill first. It is must and before you go to any site activity for the day, we must make sure that you are properly kitted,” he explained.
Also, Assistant General Manager on Quality Health Safety and Environment (QHSE), Engr. Martins Agbetuyi, explained that Cakasa had not recorded any fatality on site since it began operations in Cross River 10 years ago.
He added that for its adherence to safety standards, Cakasa had got several safety compliance awards from different clients, including Dangote.