By Chukwuma Umeorah 

The National Union of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) has called on the Nigerian government to speed up economic diversification and explore other areas targeted at creating employment for citizens and driving growth.  

The national president of NUFBTE, Oyelekan Idowu, made this call on Friday in Lagos during the union’s 11th National Delegates’ Conference tagged “Diversification as an effective catalyst for attaining sustainability in a turbulent economy.” 

According to him, diversification was necessary, given global economic uncertainties. 

He noted that the union had been able to complement the efforts of government in improving employment for Nigerians especially the youths through the creation of over 350 jobs in hotel and hospitality industry. 

This is even as he appealed to both private and government institutions as well as all relevant stakeholders to make collaborative efforts in building a viable and sustainable economy for the nation. 

“We believe that government alone cannot make the nation great,” he said, noting that for a nation to be developed, every citizen and every institution has a role to play.

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Oyelekan said the leadership of the union have decided to carry out its responsibility in ensuring the growth and development of the country.

On his part, the general secretary of NUFBTE, Mike Olanrewaju commended the visionary leadership and foresight of its members at proffering solution to some of the economic problem of the country despite prevailing challenges. Olanrewaju lamented that Nigeria is currently faced with precarious and unsteady global economic situation. 

He stated that most of the industrial unions were facing serious financial crises, the more reason why NUFBTE “took the proactive measure of diversifying our little resources and expand our means of generating income.” 

He explained that the union have also been able to contribute to the GDP of the nation through creation of jobs and prompt tax remittances.

The union restated its commitment to adding value to the society as it is working closely with the Nigeria Labour Congress and other trade and industrial unions.

“We are engaging in several projects and approaches that is aimed at building relationship among our members and solidifying the union.

Our newly commissioned 90-room hotel facility in Ibadan, Oyo state no doubt would further create more jobs in the industry,” he stated.