By Bimbola Oyesola 08033246177, [email protected]
Manufacturers in the chemical sector of the economy have mandated the Federal Government to urgently address the problem of foreign exchange shortage in the productive sectors of the economy.
The Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Employers’ Federation (CANMPEF) said this was more urgent for the purchase of raw materials input for manufacturing purposes and machinery to save the industries from total collapse.
CANMPEF president, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, speaking at the 42nd annual general meetings of the federation in Lagos, said government should consult major and key users of foreign exchange system and develop a less rigid approach to address forex shortage to productive sector of the economy
Edwin, who just recovered from COVID-19 and joined the AGM virtually, said it was more important for the industrial sector’s survival, as most of them were being forced into the parallel forex market, thereby escalating the cost of production.
He maintained that prices of goods were soaring and becoming more difficult to buy, lamenting that more companies now operate below capacity.
On the difficulties encountered by the industries, the CANMPEF president urged government to address incessant hike in the cost of premium motor spirit (PMS) and gas as well as electricity tariff.
“We want government to review current national electricity tariff pricing model to achieve a streamlined and harmonised tariff across the country in favour of our industrialisation agenda,” he said.
Edwin also appealed to government to urgently address multiple taxes and levies by the local, state, and federal agencies, calling for harmonisation and review downwards to reduce the cost of business and make made-in-Nigeria goods competitive.
In his report for the year under review, the executive secretary of the union, Mr. Femi Oke, emphasized the need to address inflation, accelerating unemployment rate, physical infrastructure constraints, among others.
He said government should urgently by way of policies encourage private sector-led investment and initiatives with potential for mass employment and internal wealth generation.
“On the other hand, government should continue to create an enabling and attractive environment for local and foreign direct investments. Social ills such as kidnapping, banditry, social unrest should be tackled from a collaborative standpoint with the government displaying leadership,” Oke said.
In a goodwill message from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Lagos State said it has been proactive in working out a mechanism for fostering greater reconciliation and mediation through facilitated space for dialogue and negotiations in labour matters.
“We work to ensure quick dispensation of justice in the resolution of industrial conflicts in order to avoid stalemate, which might give rise to strikes and lockouts. The essence is for the companies to survive that the workforce will also survive,” he added.
The AGMs ended with election that returned all the executives of the union, including the president.