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Workers demand March deadline for compulsory vaccination

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Following the expiration of the December 1 deadline for vaccination by civil servants, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria has asked the Federal Government to extend till March next year.

The General Secretary of the ASCSN, Alade Lawal, yesterday, said the extension was necessary to enable all civil servants to take the jab and avoid a stampede at the vaccination centres.

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Lawal said the union would make a strong appeal to the Federal Government not to enforce the directive till next year to enable more civil servants to take the jab.

According to him, the letter on the demand would get to the government today (Wednesday). He added that while the ASCSN supported the vaccination mandate being enforced by the Federal Government, there was a need to give the people adequate time to get vaccinated.

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He stated, “We agree that we must vaccinate in view of the combative nature of the virus. At the same time, they should give us time because of the number of people involved so that they can extend the deadline. That’s our appeal to the government, a strong appeal.“We would make the appeal through a letter. The letter will get to them latest tomorrow (today) morning. We want them to extend it till end of March next year.

“It would be better. I know that the gap between the first jab and second jab for Moderna vaccine is about a month or six weeks. Peradventure, somebody that has not taken as we speak now and wants to take by next week, you are talking of next year.

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“In this kind of thing, you must be able to arrange something so you don’t start arranging again so that all and sundry would know that the government has tried. It should not be too compact so that there would be no room for manoeuvres.”

But the Secretary-General, Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government-Owned Companies, Dr Ayo Olorunfemi, dismissed the moves to compel workers to take the vaccines, noting that the government should rather focus on building the economy and developing the infrastructure.

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He stated, “Why are they forcing people to take the vaccines? They should focus on building the economy and other important things. You know some people are enriching themselves through these vaccines. What is going on shows that this government has lost focus. They don’t know what they are doing. We have an unserious government that takes delight in pursuing shadows.”

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