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Rongtai Wood

12.05.2022 Featured Nigerian Lost an Arm While Serving Chinese Company Rongtai Wood. 8 Months After, He Has Not Been Compensated

Published 12th May, 2022

By Basit Jamiu

Samson Uwaifo, an Edo-based engineer, has accused Rongtai Wood Company, a Chinese enterprise based in Benin, Edo State, of refusing to fulfill its promise of N2 million compensation after a factory accident that led to the amputation of his left hand.

Uwaifo told FIJ that Rongtai Wood assured him that an artificial hand would be obtained for him to replace his lost hand after it was amputated in August 2021.

“Eight months after the Chinese company made me the promise, it has not fulfilled it. I have also constantly reached out to them, but they have not responded positively to me,” Uwaifo said.

Samson Uwaifo before and after the accident
Samson Uwaifo

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“They have neglected me. I gave my all to this Chinese company. I lost my hand on duty, yet they refused to give me support. I can barely do anything with one hand right now. My life changed completely for the worse as a result of this tragedy.”

Uwaifo told FIJ that the accident occured while he was trying to activate a conveyor belt tunnel on August 3, 2021.

“After the lunch hour, I was told that the conveyor belt had experienced a blockage, so I told the operator on duty to stop the transporting process so as to fix the challenge. I worked on it for almost an hour,” he said.

Samson Uwaifo's Staff ID Card

“It was when I proceeded to return the receiving conveyor belt tension to its initial state that the transporting line was engaged without an order from me. That was how my hand was destroyed in the machine.”

The former Rongtai Wood Company worker said he was rushed to Benin Medical Centre (BMC) for treatment after the incident. At BMC, he was referred immediately to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).

“On reaching UBTH, we found out that the public hospital was on strike,” he said.

“I was then taken to Grace Hospital which recommended amputation due to the level of damage in my left hand. My family communicated it to the company and they settled the amputation bill,” Uwaifo said.

Uwaifo told FIJ that he was discharged on August 12 last year on the condition that he would visit the hospital weekly for checkup.

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According to Uwaifo, the company held a meeting with him on August 19.

“At the meeting, the company promised to get me a prosthetic arm. They also promised to compensate me with N2 million. Days and months have now passed and I am yet to hear from them,” he said.

Uwaifo said his efforts to reach out to Rongtai Company regarding the promised prosthesis and N2 million did not yield desired fruits.

When FIJ contacted Rongtai Wood Company, an official who refused to state his name said no comment would come from the management until an email was sent.

The company had, however, not responded to an email sent to it at press time.

Published 12th May, 2022

By Basit Jamiu

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