A company, United Foam Products Limited, has dismissed an online report accusing it of maltreating and enslaving its workers among other allegations.
The firm described the report published on Sahara Reporters as a lie from the pit of hell, saying that a huge number of people including educated, non-educated and artisans have been engaged through its operation spanning four decades in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital alone.
This was contained in a statement issued by Barrister O.T Olorunnisola, an External Solicitor to the company, a copy of which was made available to Journalists in Ilorin, saying that the company prioritizes staff salaries and welfare.
The statement said there was no time the factory enslaved its workforce, pointing out that while they work for seven hours daily, they receive pay above the recommended minimum wage.
It described the report as the handiwork of the blackmailers, who were only out to drag the reputation the company built over the years in the mud and mislead the unsuspecting members of the public.
The statement also debunked the allegation that it bribed the police to arrest any staff with audacity to challenge the management of the company, saying that the reputable company of its nature would not indulge in such an unholy practice.
The statement also said the company enrolled with National Social Industrial Trust Fund (NSITF) on job hazards for contract staff, adding that the company also takes care of any job related accidents.
Contrary to the claim in the report that the company worked during COVID-19 lock down, the statement clarified that it got exemption from the state government to mass produce mattresses for donation in Kwara and Oyo States, just as it added that the company remains the longest surviving private company in the history of Kwara State with minimum of 500 staff strength.
The statement entitled ‘Re: We work like slaves, Nigerian workers in Lebanese company cry out over maltreatment’, read:
“Our attention has been drawn by our client (UNIFOAM)to a report on an online news platform, Sahara Reporters, alleging that client has been enslaving its staff and maltreating them at will among other spurious allegations.
We wouldn’t have dignified the catalogue of unsubstantiated allegations against our client , United Foam Products Limited, which the report identified as Unique Foam( a company which doesn’t exist) with a response but as a responsible and responsive organization, it behoves us to correct the erroneous impression created and set the record straight so as not to mislead the undiscerned.
First, our client has been operating as a company for the past four decades in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital being the Head Office, providing employment opportunities for educated, non-educated and even artisans. This, we believe, has gone a long way in curbing unemployment debacle in our society.
Secondly, our client maintain and sustain corporate and social responsibility and contribute its quota to the development of its host community in the spirit of giving back to the host community as a responsible organization.
Therefore, we want to state it clearly that there was never a time whatsoever that our client maltreated its staff in terms of payment of salaries and other welfare packages. The allegation that staff are paid peanuts is nothing but lie from the pit of hell.
In Unifoam, staff work for seven hours and they are paid more than the recommended minimum wage. This is a verifiable fact. Testimonies are there for people to see except for those who are in the habit of maligning and dragging the name of client in the mud, which obviously the writer is part of.
They also alleged in the report that our client sack staff arbitrarily. This is nothing but a cheap blackmail all in an attempt to portray our client in bad light. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Part of the allegations was that our client bribed the police authority to arrest any staff, who challenged the management on condition of service and welfare. This is another sensation and ploy to malign our client. As a responsible organization, our client has never and would never under whatever guise engage in such an unholy practice.
Our client is enrolled with National Social Industrial Trust Fund (NSITF) on job hazards for contract staff. In spite of that, the company takes care of any job related accidents. Unifoam also has a standard clinic on its premises to handle minor incidences, a facility which most corporate organizations cannot boast of. The company safety and security procedures are industrial standard and we are being regulated by all manufacturing regulatory bodies.
On the allegation that our client worked during COVID-19 lock down, we need to make it abundantly clear that our client was covered under the provider of essential services by Kwara State government to mass produce mattresses for Isolation Centres in Kwara and Oyo States among other states. These were DONATIONS from our client in support of the battle against coronavirus pandemic. We ensured all COVID-19 protocols were and still being observed in the company.
It is imperative to state that in spite of COVID-19 induced lock down, our client continued paying staff salaries in full regardless of whether they were at work or not. It would be recalled that the period under review was when most private companies laid off staff due to their inability to pay salaries.
For the record, United Foam Products Limited remains the longest surviving private company in the history of Kwara State with minimum of 500 staff strength.
We want to therefore urge the public to disregard the erroneous impression created by some faceless people through the unsubstantiated report. Our client is committed to prioritizing welfare of its staff and hold its customers and the general public in high etseem.
Shettima Justifies N15 billion Budgeted For His Official Residence, Says Peter Obi Suffering From Post-election Trauma
Vice President Kashim Shettima has responded to recent criticisms from Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 elections.
Stanley Nkwocha, the spokesman for Vice President Shettima, addressed Obi’s remarks, defending the administration’s decision to spend N15 billion to renovate his boss’s residences in Lagos and Abuja.
Obi had questioned why the government planned to spend a lot on renovating the edifices while budgeting a paltry N5 billion for student loans in the country.
In his statement released on behalf of Vice President Shettima, Nkwocha responded to Obi’s comments, denouncing what he termed as a series of misguided attacks and falsehoods directed at the administration led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Nkwocha challenged the criticisms levelled by Obi, citing the allocation of funds for the renovation of the Vice President’s official residence by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
He clarified that the project was initiated and funded during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan and was later renewed by the current FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, due to its long-standing abandonment.
The spokesman defended the decision to resume the project, emphasizing the administration’s commitment to completing long-abandoned public projects across the nation, a stance he suggested was in contrast to Obi’s past directives as governor of Anambra State.
COP28 Delegation: ”Tinubu Has Turned Climate Change Conference to Owambe” – Atiku
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has strongly criticized the reported over-bloated delegation led by Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai.
In a statement released by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku criticized the size and nature of the delegation, suggesting that Tinubu lacked an understanding of the severity of Nigeria’s economic challenges.
Atiku questioned the rationale behind converting a climate change conference into what he described as a “jamboree, all-comers, and ‘owambe’ party” with over 1,400 delegates.
He characterized the situation as ridiculous and indicative of a governance approach lacking awareness and responsibility.
The statement highlighted the pressing economic hardships faced by Nigeria, emphasizing the need for leaders to align their actions with the available resources.
Atiku criticized the use of borrowed funds for what he termed a “street party” held outside the country, calling attention to the disparity between the purpose of COP28—focusing on improving lives, clean air, healthy food, and a secure future—and the alleged extravagant delegation.
“The economic dire straits that Nigeria is facing demand that its leaders cut their coats according to the cloth available,” the statement read, emphasizing the necessity for a more prudent and responsible approach to governance and resource utilization.
Atiku’s remarks add to the growing chorus of criticism regarding the alleged misuse of resources and the size of the Nigerian delegation at COP28.
“Lagos Is Bigger Than Ghana” – Ghanaian Singer, Efya, Settles Music Industry Comparison
She said: “Nigerian and Ghanaian music markets are not the same. Nigerians are way more than we are in terms of numbers. Numbers really matter now. The number of people that will stream Nigerian music in Nigeria is different from the number of people that will stream Ghanaian music in Ghana. The numbers are not the same.
“In the capacity of numbers, Lagos is bigger than Ghana. It is like the music hub itself. Nigerians are way bigger than we are. So, usually when I see people comparing, I’m like, ‘Do you guys know?’
“There shouldn’t be any comparisons. What I believe that we should is that we should be more collaborative. Find our vibes and put them together to advance what Afrobeats is going to be in the future; for us to be the gatekeepers of our own sound. And I think that’s the power move.”
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