Chemical workers decry state of economy

Task FG to provide palliative measures for manufactures, workers, others

Workers in the chemical sector of the country have decried the appalling state of Nigeria’s economy, which they said was impacting negatively on all areas of the national development.

This is even as they have called on the Federal Government to come up with palliative measures to cushion the adverse effects of economic instability on manufacturers, Nigerian workers and the general masses.

The workers, under the umbrella of the National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), warned that failure may aggravate civil unrest and crime rate, while several people will die of hunger and ill health.

President of NUCFRLANMPE, Goke Olatunji, speaking at the 30th edition of annual nationwide industrial relations seminar of the union held in Ibadan, Oyo State, lamented that the present economic situation of the nation was worrisome and impacting negatively on the welfare of the citizenry.

Reflecting on the theme of the seminar “Sustaining Industrial Peace and Harmony in an era of socio-economic and political instability”, Olatunji harped that the unprecedented and untold hardship which Nigerians are suffering from, without any immediate hope for better time leaves much to be desired.

According to him, the theme was well thought of as nobody knows the next thing that will happen in Nigeria.

“The Economy is greatly in comatose; unfortunately the technocrats who can turn the situation around are left out while misfit people occupy critical positions in the affairs of our country. “There is no clearly defined economic policy both fiscal and monetary to salvage the situation because the people at the helm of affairs have allowed sentiments and nepotism to becloud their sense of reasoning thereby jettisoning what ought to be done,” he said.

He noted that it is only in Nigeria that the governor of the apex bank, the Central Bank will be conspicuous in the political activity of the country and there would be no consequence after all.

Expressing the effect on the manufacturers presently groaning seriously because of overhead cost that has constituted a great block to operational efficiency and effectiveness,

The NUCFRLANMPE President charged the government to rise up to the occasion of making manufacturing thrive as the real sector of the economy holds the key for growing the country’s Gross Domestic Products.

He said, “Inflation rate stands at double digits which are in direct relationship with Interest rate.

“Power supply is far below what is consumed in Nigeria and Manufacturing activities largely depend on power. It is equally worrisome that the electricity tariff has gone up, but the power supply has not increased. The worst is that the alternative source of power- gas and fuel- are not easy to come by as their prices have soared higher than bearable. Beyond the reach of both the rich and common man. In present Nigeria, the rich also cry!

Nigeria is not working at all.”

He reflected further on the poor state of infrastructure, medical, education with universities under closure for over six months describing such as height of callousness and untold insensitivity. 

Condemning the policy makers present preoccupation with politics and politicking, with the worsen insecurity, the labour leaders opined that the hope of the working class now is that the economy will get better after the general elections of 2023.

“The impact of the crumbled economy on our Union is enormous. It has led to a drastic loss of membership. The Union that used to boast of about 30,000 members some years back cannot boast of 10,000 workers across the country.

“Without sounding apolitical, I appeal to all our Comrades to get their PVC and vote for a better candidate who can bring back the good fortune of this country, at least there was a country, says Chinua Achebe. We have our Labour Party, and from our Central Labour Centre, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), we have the marching order that we should mobilize our members. Workers’ vote must count in 2023,” he said.

Insisting further on palliative, Olatunji said this may be to increase public expenditure for provision of infrastructural amenities, fuel subsidization, and relaxing FOREX policy such that the bottlenecks in accessing it is drastically reduced for manufacturing companies and other genuine businesses.

“There should be a sincere peace pact amongst diverse interests and leanings in Nigeria so as to resolve whatever differences responsible for civil crisis and unrest in the country while adequate power generation, diversification of economy, provision of infrastructures can be surest ways of creating employment for the army of idle Nigerian youths,” he stressed.

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NUCFRLANMPE - National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-metallic Products Employees emerged as a result of the merger of two trade unions - National union of Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Employees otherwise known as NUCANMPE and Footwear Rubber and Leather Union otherwise known as FLR in 1996. The merger of the trade unions In Nigeria which resulted in pruning down of Trade union organizations from 42 to 29 was at the instance of a Decree 4 1996 of Federal Government of Nigeria.

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