Indorama Fertilizer Denounces Allegation of Refusal to Provide Healthcare for Wounded Worker

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Right to left: Dr. Jossy Nkwocha, Head of Corporate Communications and Mr. Dhananjay Mehta, senior executive at Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited.

Indorama Fertilizer Limited (IFL) has described as untrue allegations made by one Mr David Depreye, who sustained injury at the company’s workplace and claimed that the organisation failed to provide medical support for him.

The company disclosed that it took care of Depreye’s medical bills and has ensured he gets his full remuneration since the incident about two years ago

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Making the clarification on Friday in Rivers State, the Head of Corporate Communications, IFL, Dr Jossy Nwocha in a press statement revealed that the company took full responsibility of providing the treatment Mr Depreye needed after he sustained injury on his two legs at work.

Nkwocha added that SPEO, the company that employed Depreye was not registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHS) as at the time of the incident which made Indorama to foot his medical bills because the injured worker could not enjoy the benefits due to employees who sustained such degree of injury at their work place.

According to Nkwocha ” On 23rd December, 2020, Mr. Depreye, a Masher employed by SPEO Nigeria Limited and deployed to Indorama bulk loading bay, sustained injury on his two legs while at work in IFL complex. Indorama responded immediately by providing first aid medical treatment at the company’s clinic within the complex. He was thereafter transferred at the expense of Indorama to SPEO retainer hospital Rehoboth Medical Service Hospital where orthopedic medication was administered”.

“In view of the fact that SPEO was at the time of the accident not registered with National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), he could not avail himself of the benefits accruable to an employee who suffered workplace accident as provided under the Employee Compensation Act”.

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” Consequently, on compassionate grounds, Indorama took over the medical bills of Mr. Depreye and ensured that he is kept on the payroll until this moment. In other words, his salary has been paid up to date”.

“After being hospitalized for over a year at which time he went through corrective surgery on the legs at the expense of his employer SPEO and Indorama, he was eventually discharged but continued treatment on outpatient basis”.

“This was the situation when in March 2023 Mr. Depreye filed a lawsuit at the National Industrial Court Port Harcourt requesting the Court for firstly an order compelling his employer SPEO and Indorama to provide proper medical attention to his fractured leg and secondly to pay a total sum of N8 million as compensation plus Five Hundred N500,000 as Legal Fees”.

“Upon being served with the court process, we invited Mr. Depreye and his lawyer to a meeting to resolve the matter amicably. In attendance was the Managing Director of SPEO and his lawyer. At that meeting on 19th April 2023 it was observed that there was a need to have further treatment to correct the surgery earlier conducted by Rehoboth Medical Service Hospital. The Claimant and SPEO identified University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) as the hospital where the corrective surgery will be carried out”.

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” It was also agreed that the Claimant, his lawyer together with SPEO’s MD and his Lawyer should go to the UPTH for medical appraisal and obtain the cost implication of the final surgery”.

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” They reported back at a second meeting in the complex that the total cost of corrective surgery would be about N1.9 million. At this stage, Mr. Depreye said he does not want surgery anymore but traditional treatment in his village and that the money for treatment and compensation should be handed over to him. He now demanded for N12 million in full and final settlement of all claims against the N8 million he was requesting the court to grant him”.

” Although Indorama is not the direct employee of Mr. Depreye and therefore not ordinarily liable for his treatment, Indorama nonetheless offered to pay him N5 million in full and final settlement of all claims but he refused threatening us that ‘we shall meet in court’ “.

” When the suit came up on 24th October, 2023 his lawyer informed the court that parties were exploring out of court settlement and applied for adjournment to enable the parties conclude. The lawsuit was adjourned to 4th December, 2023. On that day, the Judge informed the court of his transfer from Port Harcourt and that the case would be assigned to a new Judge”.

” It was against this background that Mr. Depreye rushed to the press to make spurious allegations against the company with a view to tarnishing the hard earned reputation of Indorama”.

Doctor Jossy highlighted that Mr. Depreye is neither on medical leave nor currently hospitalized yet he has not showed up at work while the company has not failed to pay his salary and other allowances.

” The medical reports have not shown that he is unfit for work. Yet, since his discharge from hospital over a year ago, he has refused to turn up at the Indorama Complex for work while Indorama has for three years since the accident, continued to pay his salary and allowances till date”.

“Notwithstanding this umbrage, Indorama, on compassionate ground has invited Mr. Depreye and his lawyer to a meeting scheduled for Monday 5th February 2024 in the continuing search for an amicable resolution” he added.

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