Union seeks FG’s intervention as paper industry struggles to save jobs
The Pulp, Paper and Paper Products, Printing and Publishing Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PPAPPPAPSSAN) have called on the Federal Government for quick revitalisation as the sector now struggles to save jobs.
The workers lamented that the industry with over 300,000 employees and an investment worth over N100bn in the 90s, presently could no longer boast of 20,000 employees.
At the union’s 9th Triennial National Delegates Conference, held in Lagos, President of PPAPPPAPSSAN, Dada Joseph, said the government’s urgent intervention in the paper industry was paramount to avoid the sector going into extinction.
He said if the sector works optimally, Nigeria stands to save about N400bn yearly and also create over 200,000 jobs for the youths.
Notwithstanding its importance and relevance to the economy, he lamented that the companies in the paper, printing and publishing sector, seemed to be the worst hit and neglected without fear of contradiction.
He said: “The Federal Government of Nigeria in 1970s to 90s identified the importance of the sector to the economy and gave it the recognition it deserved by establishing three important paper mills/industries: Nigerian Paper Mill, Jebba; Iwopin Pulp Paper Limited, Iwopin and Nigerian Newspaper Newsprints Manufacturing Company, Oku Iboku to limit the importation of raw materials to feed the sector.
The hard fact here is that the companies are dead except Nigeria Paper Mill, Jebba, which is gasping to survive.”
He said the industries shut down operations due to the high cost of foreign exchange rates in spite of its viability, and the cost of production.
In a communique issued on resolutions of the conference, the union called on the Federal Government to create a conducive and enabling environment for the sector to thrive.
The union urged the government to provide necessary infrastructure like power supply, access roads and urgently subsidise the cost of diesel and gas usage of the major players in the industry to enable them to run their factories profitably.
The conference in-session also called on the Federal Government to reconsider policy on privatisation of the three major primary paper mills, by constituting a committee of the major stakeholders including the unions in the industry to work out the strategies to revive the moribund mills with a view of improving the economy.
Among other requests, the conference in-season called on employers in all paper, printing and publishing industries in both public and private sectors to respect and apply labour laws and court judgement, especially in respect of the National Industrial Court (NIC) judgement on the jurisdictional scope of the association of Monday 11th May 2020.
No comments yet