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Chemical workers seek support, policies to grow industry 

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For the chemical sector to continue to play its leading role in the salvation of the economy, workers in the industry have called on the Federal Government to give maximum support, as well as create appropriate policies to move the sector forward.
   
They urged the Federal Government to implement public policies that will scale up performance and inclusive growth of the chemical sector in the nation’s economy. President of the Chemical and Non Metallic Products Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (CANMPSSAN), Segun David, said this during the union’s annual National Management/Industrial Relations seminar in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
   
According to him, government should give maximum support to the sector for it to continue to play its leading role in salvaging the economy.“We contribute immensely to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the country, particularly slipping Nigeria out of economic recession and still making the economy more economically vibrant,” he said.

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Speaking on, “Overview of the Nigeria Corporate Survival and Industrial Relations Practices in the face of Economic Challenges-Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Experience,” David noted that the sector is more diverse than any other industry in Nigeria, and drives the economy.
He decried Nigeria’s business environment in which the sector is faced with various challenges characterised by lingering structural bottlenecks amid comatose infrastructure, low capacity utilisation, unemployment, import dependence, poor regulatory environment, insecurity, inadequate long term financing hindering real sector growth, multiple taxes, unfavourable interest rate, and low corporate governance practices.

He said: “It is unfortunate that we have companies like we have in Nigeria, and government cannot provide the facilities and enabling environment needed for them to thrive, as we have in the developed economy.“Government should look into these factors if they really want the manufacturing sector to be the driving force of economic growth in the country.”

Segun added that the sector also have to contend with various internal factors ranging from the issues of gratuity, downsizing, victimisation, outsourcing, contract staffing, and other anti-labour activities. He reasoned that the challenges coupled with the international best practices on Industrial relations matters to make the union proactive in any industrial relation issues inform the packaging of the seminar. He charged Nigerians to embrace the policies and programmes of the government, so that Nigeria can become a producing country amongst her committee of nations.

The immediate past president of the union, Abdul Gafar Mohammed, charged the workers to think of retirement while still active at work, bearing in mind that there’s no job security in Nigeria.He said, “I want us to avoid the lamentation of Jeremiah. I have seen situations where people collect huge sum of money after retirement but couldn’t use it well. Ignorance is the biggest disease, whereas knowledge is the only key that opens door to opportunities, the more reason why this seminar is very vital.”

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