Economics On The Move’s (EOTM) Research Associate Nuruddeen Nyako began interviews with PantekaYola workers on the use of safety glasses.
The PantekaYola Industrial District is where hundreds of blacksmiths, craftsmen, welders use Yola’s refuge to make everything from deep freezers to automobile spare parts. Many Panteka workers labor without the benefit of hard hats, face masks, protective shoes or gloves. Some of these workers are children.
EOTM purchased 35 safety glasses in the U.S. and paid to ship them to Yola where they were subject to: “Custom Duties,” “Recall Fees,” “Redirection Charges,” “Trade Charges,” “Retention Fees,” and “Parcel Handling Charges” totaling 4,957 naira. However, the glasses were sold to Panteka workers at cost, or N250 each. Proceeds from the sales are going toward the purchase of first-aid kits and a fire extinguisher for Panteka workers.
During the interviews, workers mentioned that the glasses help protect their eyes and they purchased the EOTM glasses instead of ones sold locally because of the cost and quality.
Nuruddeen believes that high prices for safety items discourages Panteka workers and Nigerians in general from developing a “work-safe” environment/ attitude. He plans to use examples from Panteka to advocate for policy reforms that promote worker safety.