By Bimbola Oyesola
Organised Labour has cautioned the Federal Government to be wary of the banks manipulating the disbursement of the N25billion naira car loans set aside to help Nigerians acquire new made-in-Nigeria cars.
The union, Association of Auto and Boatyards Transport Employees (AUTOBATE), said the news that the Federal Government is planning to “float a car purchase loan scheme to help Nigerians acquire new made-in-Nigeria cars” is a refreshing one.
It noted that the scheme would not only help to move the sector forward, but will help to boost the industry, and also benefit the middle class.
It, however, said that it must not be left at the mercy of the greedy bankers who also take advantage of opportunities like this to divert funds to other investments thereby frustrating the supposed beneficiaries.
It said: “We, however, advise a well mapped-out, clear and nationalistic guideline that would not short-changed the beneficiaries at the end of it all.
“It is instructive that caution be taken to ensure that the so-called investors who; cut costs only on workers, detest unionization, promote outsourcing and mass casualization do not exploit the opportunity. As they flagrantly disobey the labour laws and global best practices at will, taking advantage of the lack of the political will on the part of our leaders to ensure enforcement.”
The union, though commended the Federal Government gesture, but warned that the project should not be done at the expense of the struggling middle class who really needs this kind of opportunity.
It added: “AUTOBATE calls on Federal Government to institute public-owned automobile industries so as to widen and deepen the expected development. Industrial standards should also be maintained. This is the safest line to lead in this world of economic downturn so as to promote collective prosperity and robust developments.”