Epileptic power supply, insecurity and a lack of key infrastructure have continued to force industrialists out of Nigeria, a labour activist, Mr Babatunde Olatunji, has said.
Olatunji, President of the National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANPE) made the statement at the 28th Annual Industrial Relations seminar of the union, taking place at Ado-Ekiti in Ekiti.
He lamented that insecurity was particularly affecting manufacturers, such that many were being forced to sell their plants to find safety in other countries.
Olatunji said that the challenges were making employers to hide under the guise of economic instability to convert their regular workers to contract workers.
According to him, the inability of local manufacturers to produce at required capacity has resulted to an influx of foreign goods into Nigeria.
”There is massive importation of poor quality and cheaper items such as toothpick, soaps, matches and many others, which cause stiff competition for locally produced goods.
”It is important for the government to chart a clear policy direction and ensure effective implementation of economic policies for the manufacturing sector to survive,” the unionist said.
In a solidarity message, Mr John Adaji, President of the Textile Workers Union advised the seminar participants to discuss how to tackle the issue of artificial intelligence, threatening the future of workers.
According to him, workers need to review their strategy and attitude at workplaces and give more attention to productivity as the era of ”banging tables is over.”
He urged the union to sustain the seminar and come up with ideas that would bring positive changes in the country to guarantee jobs and the future of workers.
The pioneer President of the union, Mr Kayode Akinbode, told the workers in a message tagged, “balance sheets of life,” that “ideas are assets to life; character is capital while happiness is profit and bad habit liability.’’
Akinbode told the participants to take advantage of the knowledge they acquired from the five-day seminar to do the needful to protect their jobs.
The theme of this year’s seminar is: ”Charting a new Course for Effective Industrial Relations in an Era of Economic Instability”.