COVID-19: Indian Workers At Dangote Refinery Cry Out, Say They’re Forced To Work Without Payment
Indian workers at the Dangote Refinery construction site in Lagos State have cried out to the Indian Government to come to their rescue.
In a video circulating the social media, the aggrieved Indian workers accused their employer of forcing them to work without payment or protection amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They called on the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah, to take “necessary steps” by rescuing them from their employer.
One of the workers, who spoke in a foreign language on behalf of the group, said,
“We, the citizens of India, are speaking from Dangote Refinery, which is situated almost 60km away from Lagos in Nigeria. We are workers of the Dangote Refinery.
“The whole world is suffering from coronavirus, which is a global pandemic. Nigeria has also announced its lockdown. During this lockdown, the workers of Power Mech Company are being forced to work. The staff here are forcing us to work through physical violence.
“We request our Home Minister, Mr Amit Shah, and Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, to kindly understand our problems and help us get out of this situation by taking necessary steps to protect and save our lives.”
The workers claimed that despite the lockdown in Nigeria due to the Coronavirus, their employer was using physical force to compel them to work.
They also also accused their employer of refusing to pay nor give them protective gear to prevent themselves from COVID-19 at the site.
“The people here are forcing us to work by taking us out of our rooms and pushing us into the bus in order to make us work. The company responsible for this is the Power Mech Company.
“We, the people working in the Power Mech Company, have not been paid. The workers have not received any payment since three months and there is no food arrangement made for us. The food which is given is worse (than) those of animals.
“In this situation of the pandemic, they are not saving us from the disease but are trying to kill us of this disease and are pushing us into it so that we die,” they said.
Attempts to get a reaction from GTA Power Mech proved abortive as the company did not respond to phone calls, a text message and an email.
When contacted, Dangote Group’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Mr Anthony Chiejina, said the video was over two months old. He said:
“That video is more than two months old. It’s just an unrelated issue. People are just doing what they like.”
When our correspondent pointed out that the video made reference to COVID-19, Chiejina said, “What they are saying is rubbish. Three months ago, was coronavirus there? It is an old thing that is unrelated.”
Watch the video below:
State of Indian workers in Dangote Refinery, near Lagos, Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/jmHi6KePon
— Brig Praveen Kapur (Retd) (@praveenkapur11) May 2, 2020
KanyiDaily had reported that some angry Nigerian youths destroyed a Chinese company in Ogun State for refusing to pay its workers after allegedly locking them inside their facility despite the lockdown order to curb the spread of coronavirus.