As the nation’s electricity supply continues to deteriorate in spite of all efforts, organized labour yesterday, urged the Federal Government to come up with workable policies for adequate supply of electricity.
The General Secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Issa Aremu, said this would enhance production of goods and services in the country.
He spoke at the union’s 40th anniversary and 30th Education Conference in Lagos which has as its theme; NUTGTWN At 40: Repositioning Labour And Industry For The Next 40 Years
According to him, poor electricity supply had contributed to factors that destroyed industries in Nigeria and encouraged smuggling.
‘’In 1983, Nigeria became the largest employer in West Africa with over 200 textile companies. But today, many factories have closed with less than 40 in operation.
Before, the industry employed more than 500,000 direct workers, but today it has less than 60,000 workers.
Necessary infrastructure must work to revive the textile industry,’’ he said.
The labour leader said that after the establishment of the first textile company, Kaduna Textile Mill in 1957, other state governments started creating their own companies to boost development,’’.
He also called on the government to reduce the price of gas to enable factories compete with foreign companies while encouraging closed ones to reopen.
Former President of NLC, Hassan Sumonu, in his goodwill message also said that it would be difficult for the country to industrialise if it continues to produce about seven thousand mega watts of electricity.
He urged political leaders to be more nationalistic on development of the country because it was blessed with both human and natural resources.
Also, Director General, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA),Mr. Segun Oshinowo, said that it was only good governance that could address poverty and not collective bargaining alone.
Oshinowo said that employers alone cannot tackle the enourmous economic challenges without good governance that would help rebuild industries and reduce poverty level.