EXCLUSIVE: Indonesian Embassy In Abuja, Others Refuse To Allow Staff Work From Home Despite Coronavirus Outbreak


The Embassy of Indonesia in Abuja, Nigeria, has refused to allow staff work from home or observe social distancing despite the outbreak and continued spread of Coronavirus in the country, SaharaReporters can confirm.

Despite pleas to the leadership of the high commission, staff especially Nigerian employees of the embassy have been asked to continue working without recourse to their health.

“The High Commissioner even threatened some staff that if they refused to come to work, they will be fired.

“This is despite the announcement by the FCT authorities that everyone should stay at home to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus,” one troubled staff said on Thursday.

SaharaReporters gathered that the embassy authorities insisted that it cannot regard the verbal directive from the Nigerian Government for residents to work from home.

It was also gathered that despite the matter being brought to their notice, Nigerian Government officials were yet to intervene.

The Indonesian Embassy and in fact several other high commissions in the country employ only contract staff with no health insurance, pension, benefits or allowances.

Nigerian authorities are aware of this gross labour law violation but have failed to act to protect citizens employed in such places.

“They all treat Nigerians the same. Most of them reduce salaries without prior notification and they pay poorly.

“For example, administrative staff earn between N90,000 to N120,000 while drivers, domestic help and cooks earn between N25,000 to N60,000 with no overtime and they also deny women maternity leave,” a top diplomatic source told SaharaReporters.

At the Indonesian Embassy in Abuja, only four Nigerian staff are employed and they mostly serve in domestic capacity.

“We are suffering in our own country. We need government to intervene and ensure that they abide by the laid down rules of their host community, Nigeria,” another staff at the Indonesian Embassy said.

As at the time of this report, an enquiry sent to the Indonesian Embassy via email by SaharaReporters was yet to be responded to while phone numbers listed on the website of the high commission failed to connect when dialed by one of our correspondents on Thursday.

As a way of curtailing the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria, the federal and various state governments had adopted various measures including restricting public gatherings and advising workers to operate from their houses.

Nigeria has 51 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and one recorded death at the moment with fears growing of a further spread if the stay-at-home order is not complied with by citizens. 

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