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Chemical workers urge government to save jobs

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• Say CBN’s policy on forex is affecting sector

Chemical workers, under the aegis of National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), have called on the Federal Government to save their jobs and the industry from collapse, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) policy on the foreign exchange (forex) takes a toll on the sector.

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The workers maintained that the inability of many companies to have access to forex and Form M, would reduce their accessibility to raw materials for production, and might force many companies to shut down.
 
President of NUCFRLANMPE, Babatunde Olatunji, who made the call at the union’s secretariat in Ogun State, said in as much as the CBN is protecting the economy from further decline, if there is no Letter of Credit (LC), there would be more problems in the sector, as more jobs would be threatened.
 
The union demanded the reversal of the policy, urging the apex bank to have a second look at the policy to save the industry from collapse.
 
Olatunji said despite the union’s investments, the economy, government’s policies, and high cost of doing business in Nigeria, have impacted negatively on its finances and members.

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He said: “Presently the COVID-19 pandemic has really impacted negatively on the entire economy with so many job losses, any unfavourable policy from the government now will deal a further devastating blow on the economy.”
 
He also urged the Federal Government to save businesses as well as Nigerians from the adverse effects of the current hikes in fuel prices and electricity tariff.
 
He said it was a double blow on the sector because the higher the cost of production of essential products, the higher the consumer would pay for the final products, stressing that such is not good for the economy.
 
He urged the government to initiate workable policies to ensure an adequate supply of electricity, as poor supply has contributed to the destruction of industries in Nigeria, thereby encouraging smuggling.

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Olatunji said: “It is only good governance that can address poverty in Nigeria, and not collective bargaining. Employers alone would not tackle economic challenges without good governance that would help rebuild industries, and reduce the poverty level in the country.”
 
Ahead of the union’s Delegates Conference, today, (Thursday), he said it would give the incumbent National Administrative Committee (NAC), the opportunity to request another term to further consolidate its achievement.
 
Olatunji, who was elected four years ago, said the profile of the union has been raised with the multi-million Naira shopping complex, event centre, and guest house embarked upon by his administration.
 
“When we came in four years ago; we discovered that the only way to survive would be to join the league of other organised labour unions, who have diversified into businesses as means of survival,” he said.

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