The Federal Government has been asked to avoid taking key policies that would worsen the current economic status of the country due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and drop in crude oil price.
Speaking about what the government ought to do, the Vice President of the IndustriALL Global Union, Comrade, Issa Aremu, during a workshop organised by the Labour Writers Association of Nigeria (LAWAN), said the virus is a new threat to Nigeria’s economic recovery.
With the theme: ‘The Media as Change Agents in Industrial and Labour Relations.’ Comrade Aremu maintained that organised labour should support the federal government in its quest to combat the deadly Covid-19.
“Coronavirus shows that we must deepen diversification of the economy, produce what we consume and consume what we produce. CBN must, therefore, sustain it is policy of not financing 43 items Nigeria can produce at home,” he hinted.
According to him, employers must invest in workers awareness on prevention and control of the disease, noting that economic productivity has been brought to a halt globally because of the virus.
“Nigeria currently produces below capacity. I bear witness that considerable work needs to be done on national productivity. At 60, Nigeria should be more productive. No better time to raise the noise level of the production crisis than now; 60th independence anniversary. Nigeria is no longer a productive country of the immediate post-colonial era of 60s and 70s. Currently, we still consume what we do not produce; export raw materials that we should have turned to manufactured goods, import the same products produced by others. We import unemployment and export jobs. This must change. Productivity is an input/ output relationship.
“I commend the federal government for its commitment to re-industrialise the country, through sustainable industrial policies, such as the new (CTG, Cotton, Textile and Garment) policy. We must curb smuggling and dumping. Nigeria must declare emergency on energy sector if we must improve on productivity. We must improve on the policy environment, education and technology to raise the nation’s output.”
He further stated that as Nigeria marks its 60th independence anniversary this year, the need to be more productive to compete favourably was pertinent. According to him, there is no better time to act than now.
“We still consume what we do not produce; export raw materials that we should have turned to manufactured goods, import the same products produced by others with tears. We import unemployment and export jobs. This must change. Productivity is an input/output relationship.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Director, International Press Centre, (IPC-Lagos), Mr Lanre Arogundade said labour reporter should
develop focused and effective communication activities that promote the confidence in industrial/labour relations, it is vital to understand the role of the media.
“The relations between Labour/Industrial sectors and media, representatives are becoming more and more important particularly to ensure the smooth reach of wider public at large. Regardless of the form, the media will maintain the role of trusted news provider in future.” He said
However, the Chairman, LAWAN, Bimbola Oyesola, said that it is very important for reporters to improve on their capacity for effective reportage. She urged reporters on the need to ensure a balanced reportage.