So I am angry at Julius Berger!
On my way home from work on Thursday, I saw what appeared to be a container on wheels only that it contained humans. These humans were Julius Berger staff being transported to or from their place of work. My friends and I thought it looked like a cell on wheels. They all had to stand inside- probably a hundred of them. There were little windows cut into the containers and clearly, this means of transportation could have not possibly passed the Health and Safety Standards of Nigeria or Germany for that matter! I brought out my phone and started snapping away. I managed to get one good shot.
To say that I was appalled is to put it mildly. I was sore vexed in my spirit. Then for a minute, I paused and thought: on whose feet EXACTLY do I place the wreath of blame? Is it the German Government/Company for dishing to us what they would never do in their own country (and get away with at least)? Julius Berger was not even in anyway ashamed of their employee transporter and they clearly had ‘This vehicle is to transport Julius Berger Employees’ written on it. Is it the Nigerian Government for allowing such blatant abuse of workers to take place so openly and without consequence? Do we not have a Federal Ministry in charge of such matters? Health, Employee Matters, whatever? Should we blame the workers themselves who have accepted such treatment? It is hard to place blame here because I can bet that it is a case of if you don’t want to work, leave! I can also bet that these staff are paid on a daily basis and are very grateful to even have a job! Or do we blame ourselves-Nigerians who drive past such vehicles daily and just shake our heads in horror and after a few minutes, totally forget what it was that horrified us?
Anyways, aside of the blame dishing out exercise, the point is this: I am very displeased. It is absolutely unacceptable and I wish something could be done about it.
Now what is this ‘something’? I do not propose, Dear J. Berger, that you transport your construction workers in luxurious air conditioned buses but I’m sure you can afford BRT type of vehicles or even at the worst, ‘molues’ which are still 100 times better than what I saw on Thursday.
It is hightime we kicked against such acts in Nigeria! Absolutely unacceptable!