…Re-elect Olatunji president

Bimbola Oyesola, [email protected]

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Workers in the chemical sector of the economy have advocated value-addition strategies for the nation’s raw materials as means of revamping the economy post-COVID-19.
The National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), at its sixth Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference on Thursday, in Ibadan, Oyo State, said, for Nigeria’s economy to become better, Nigeria should go back to the basics, mining and agriculture, and give serious attention to the manufacturing sector.
The president of the union, Mr. Babatunde Goke Olatunji, said it was high time Nigeria adopted value-adding strategies, instead of exporting commodities and resources in their raw forms.

Reflecting on the theme of the conference, “COVID-19: Issues, Challenges and Way Forward in the Industry,” Olatunji said the poor economic situation of the country is further worsened with the advent of COVID-19 pandemic thereby making Nigeria economy nose-diving.
“The monolithic nature of Nigeria economy for years has paved way for backwardness: petroleum is not enough, we urgently need diversification of the economy for growth and development,” he said.
He lamented that the action of government to control the illegal importation of rice and other food items, though was good, but is having adverse effect on local manufacturers.
He said, “FGN closed the land borders totally without consideration for other locally produced goods which are meant to be exported to the neighbouring countries. This strategy had not been reversed when COVID-19 came knocking. Manufacturing companies are therefore finding it extremely difficult to thrive in the face of unfavourable economic policies and COVID-19 effects.”
He further called on the federal government to upgrade the country’s health facilities to cater for the well being of the people.
“If COVID-19 has not been a global challenge and if international flights is allowed to operate, many political leaders infected with the virus would have travelled abroad for medical attention.
“But they are compelled to use health facilities for commoners. Political leaders should have a rethink and upgrade the country’s health facilities to meet international standards”, Olatunji said.
On insecurity, the NUCFRLANMPE President said government should stop playing politics or down play the issues as it seems to be presently, noting that it is making investment in Nigeria to be difficult because only a mad person will invest in a crisis laden area.
Mr Femi Oke, Executive Secretary, Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Employers Federation (CANMPEF), in his goodwill message said that COVID-19 has affected all aspect of human lives ranging from loss of jobs to high cost of living.
Oke said that companies in Nigeria found it difficult to get raw materials during the period leading to high cost of production, distribution and poor purchasing power of the citizens.
The CANMPEF scribe charged the government to support the citizens in the area of job creation to alleviate their suffering and also reconsider its decision on petroleum pump price increment and electricity tariff hike.
Meanwhile, Olatunji along with his National Administative Council (NAC) were re-elected to pilot the affairs of the union for another four years.