The Boss Mustapha-led Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 had announced that Federal Government workers without proof of COVID-19 vaccination or test results done within 72 hours would be denied access to their offices starting from December 1.
But, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria said although it was not opposed to the directive, it said the deadline was too short, adding that it would create tension among workers
But the ASCSN said the November 30 deadline for compulsory COVID-19 vaccination by federal workers was not feasible.
According to him, the government should have issued the directive earlier, adding that other countries which enforced the vaccine mandate had recorded great progress in vaccinating their citizens.
The union, while endorsing the vaccination mandate for federal workers, however, observed that the directive to deny workers without proof of vaccination access to their offices from December 1 might create unnecessary tension.
The ASCSN Secretary-General, Mr Alade Lawal, in an interview argued that the government should be flexible with the deadline in view of the inadequate vaccines doses in the country and the challenges faced by workers in locating vaccination centres.
He stated, “It would be better if the government can be a little bit flexible because some of these workers have to travel for some kilometres before they can reach where they would be vaccinated. But minus that, it (directive) is a good thing. It is for the safety of workers in the workplace. Once you are vaccinated, the risk of contracting the virus is lower.
“We are encouraging our workers to get vaccinated, we are also appealing to the government to be flexible with the date. That November date may not be feasible so that in the final analysis, you don’t create unnecessary tension while trying to solve one or two problems.”
He encouraged Nigerians who had yet to take the vaccines to continue observing social distancing and other protocols for their safety.