The National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) has urged federal and state governments to patronize locally made face masks made from Nigerian fabrics in the fight to prevent spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The union in a statement by its President, Comrade John Adaji urged the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 and other State governments to also buy Made-in-Nigeria hand sanitizers and other protective equipment in line with the Federal Government’s executive order for patronage of locally produced goods.
The Union emphasised that more than ever before, Nigeria must learn to produce what we consume and consume what we produce.
“The Nigeria textile and garment industries with thousands of our members in the informal sector have the capacity to produce quality cloth face masks for the entire citizenry and even for export thereby saving the country huge foreign exchange in importation.
“The advantage of locally produced cloth face masks is that it can be washed and reused. Cloth face masks can help prevent people who have the virus but may not be showing any symptoms from spreading it by containing the respiratory droplets that we all expel when we talk, cough, or sneeze,” the President stated.
While calling for continuous awareness on the pandemic, the union backed the decision by the Lagos State Government and other south west governors to enforce the use of face masks in public places as part of the measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Adaji commended the resilience of health workers and other workers worldwide who are working day and night to help to manage and contain the spread of the dreaded COVID-19.
He stated further, “we commend President Muhammadu Buhari for promptly setting up the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha and approval of a number of measures to contain the spread of the disease in Nigeria and mitigate its impact on the citizens and economy.
“Other State governments have also commendably taken necessary measures including temporary and total lockdown to contain the spread of the disease in their respective States. The Nigeria Centre for Disease and Control (NCDC) led by the Director General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu is also doing a good job in coordinating the testing and management of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.”