The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says it has opened active investigation and materials testing into the quality of products made by the Inner Steel Company to determine compliance with standards.
A statement by the Director-General of the Commission, Mr Babatunde Irukera in Abuja on Friday, said the investigation followed credible reports of unfair treatment of Nigerian employees by the company located at Obehie, in Abia State.
Irukera said that the Commission secured an express and urgent commitment from the company to immediately take steps to improve the living conditions of on-site employees by purchasing mattresses for their bunk beds and cooling fans.
He disclosed that the Commission also mandated the company to modify required working hours from 11 to eight hours daily and improve on-site medical access and responsiveness.
“The information we received alleged unscrupulous and potentially illegal treatment and working conditions at Inner Steel’s factory
Although it was unclear how the subject conduct falls within the mandate of the FCCPC, regardless the Commission proceeded in an abundance of caution, considering treatment of citizens was implicated in the report and the urgency required made it expedient to deploy anyway.
“Yesterday August 13, operatives of the Commission from the South-East and South-South zonal offices conducted an investigatory stop at the company’s location in Obehie, Abia State.
“Employees are housed on work premises in less than ideal boarding conditions, a workplace injury previously occurred and led to amputation with respect to an employee.
There are possible questions about the company’s compliance with prevailing standards for the steel/iron products it makes,’’ he said.
The director-general said the Commission would write a report and transmit to a more relevant ministry agency for follow up monitoring and compliance.
He noted that the enforcement mechanisms including penalties (where applicable) under relevant laws and processes of the appropriate ministry, department or agency, for violations in these circumstances would take their course.