Labour Bberates govt officials over Forex crisis, meets FG
By Matthew Atungwu
The Nigeria Labour Congress on Sunday lamented the terrible effects of the foreign exchange crisis on the country’s economy and called for an immediate currency stability.
In a statement released on Sunday, NLC President Joe Ajaero attributed the depreciation of the national currency to the government officials’ fondness for high-end, foreign goods.
If the naira failed to stabilise versus the US dollar, Ajaero warned that the economy could face “a wave of devastating consequences.”
The warning from the NLC president came before today’s (Monday) meeting between organised labour and the federal government.
At the meeting, the Federal Government and the organised labour will review the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding they signed on the subsidy removal palliative.
In a statement titled, “Urgent action to stabilise the naira amidst alarming depreciation,” the NLC president, said repercussions of the weakened currency would be felt by workers and the masses.
While the investor & exporter window has been relatively stable at around N770 to 780/$, the parallel market, where most individuals and businesses get their forex from, traded at over N1,000/$.
The naira’s depreciation in the parallel market has been attributed to an increasing forex demand that does not equate to supply from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
This decline has further led to manufacturers struggling to get raw materials, with more companies planning to sack more workers or shut down. With the declining naira value, manufacturers are faced with cutting production, jobs, and raw material imports.
The NLC, in the statement signed by its president, said public officials must stop their penchant for foreign goods to check the depreciation of the naira.
Besides the statement he issued the labour leader also addressed a press conference in Abuja on Sunday.
At the press conference, Ajaero disclosed that the union had been invited to the State House by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, on the implementation of the resolutions on subsidy removal palliatives.
He said, “Hopefully, we may meet tomorrow (today) with the Federal Government to see whether the agreement with organised labour on the fuel subsidy removal palliatives was met or not.
The NLC had earlier accused Lalong of giving support to a faction of the NURTW and encouraging them to conduct their own delegates conference, both zonally and nationally, in a bid to confer legitimacy on the group.
Based on the allegation, Ajaero said the union believed that any meeting with the minister would be a waste of time “since he appears not to be in control of issues as far labour relations are concerned.’’
Confirming today’s proposed meeting, the National Vice President of NLC, Adewale Adeyanju, said the organised labour would inform Nigerians about the outcome of the parley.