About 8,000 staff members of a waste management company in Anambra State have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is coming as states have locked down their boundaries to stop the spread of the COVID-19.
Managing Director, Redivivus Industries Ltd., Mr Emeka Ajekwu, who disclosed this to newsmen in Awka, yesterday, said the COVID-19 pandemic had adversely affected the operation of the company, as they lack access to their production materials.
It was gathered that the Redivivus Company signed an official Waste Recycling Contract of about $1.1 million with Anambra State in 2019.
The firm established a network of waste scavengers to supply wastes to the moribund UNDP structure in Ogbunike to help in sustainable environmental management.
Redivivus injected life into the location by employing no fewer than 44 permanent staff members and an additional 16 contract personnel to run the plant with a recycling capacity of 320,000 kg of plastics wastes.
Mr Ajekwu said the company recorded tremendous successes with its partnership with the state government, as they had no fewer than 8,700 members of staff.
Their scope of operations, include Nnewi, Ekwulobia, Ihiala, Nise, Awka, Amansea and Nkwelle Ezunaka.
He explained that the company shut down in February to avoid exposing their frontline workers to dangers.
According to him, waste management practitioners always pick refuse from dumpsites.
“They also pick from some bins that you don’t know, who might have dropped them or what might have been used for.
“We also shut down because most of our products come from across the state and what we produce is evacuated to other states.
“But we are facing difficulties because of the border closure. We don’t have access to raw materials. In fact, we don’t have access to waste products again. So, it’s really affecting our business,’’ Mr Ajekwu noted.
He pleaded with the government to intervene over the displaced staff members as some of them live below N500 per day.
“We are asking the government to extend palliative measures to our staff. We urge them all to go into agriculture and key into the agric policies of Anambra State government.
“We also plead with the government to ensure transparency in the disbursement of support funds mapped out by Micro Finance Banks. We hope to commence moves to access them once the COVID-19 pandemic is over,’’ Ajekwu added.