By Bimbola Oyesola                       [email protected]

The National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE) has raised the alarm over the surge in the prices of finished products in the space of nine months.

According to the president of the union, Goke Olatunji, there has been over 300 percentage hike in the prices of finished products across all sectors in the country.

“Since the beginning of this administration till now, price increase in finished goods have increased by over 300 percent, in some cases, even more,” he said.

He noted that this was as a result of the unstable foreign exchange rate, as most of the raw materials used by manufacturing companies were imported.

He lamented that companies buy dollars for as high as N1,900, noting, “that is the reason the cost of things has gone really high.”

“Whatever they buy is what they will sell after factoring in the relatively high cost of production,” he stated.

Olatunji said there were some companies operating almost at a loss as they cannot even accommodate the increase in the price of the finished goods.

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He reasoned that backward integration where the company sourced for raw materials locally might have been the way out, but not for all companies.

“There are specific raw materials used by some companies that cannot be sourced locally, so they have to be imported.

“If such a company imports that material at the rate of N1,600 to N1,700 at which the dollar is hovering, by the time they produce, prices will increase exponentially and people who want to buy cannot afford it,” the union’s president said.

He opined that the solution to the problem may be multifarious, while the major one to resolve the crisis was “for the CBN and the government to make forex available to commercial banks.”

The NUCFRLANMPE boss added that if the forex were available in commercial banks, it would reduce pressure and ease access by the manufacturing companies rather than sourcing it through third parties, which makes it more expensive.

Commending the efforts of the CBN in the past one week at stabilizing the forex rate, the labour leader said the current action and success recorded should be maintained to turn the nation’s economy around. 

“Things are so hard in the country for the common man and most especially the workers who are always at the receiving end of all economic policies.

“Government must intensify efforts at relieving the hardship presently in the country. Our manufacturers also must be surely supported to save many jobs,” he maintained.