Labour criticises Buhari government over failure to revive industry, economy

Issa Aremu

Labour leaders and textiles workers have criticised the administration of Muhammadu Buhari over its failure to revive collapsed textiles industry and Nigerian economy two years after.

This was stated during the Minister of State(Industry, Trade and Investment) Hajiya Aisha Abubakar’s tour of the ailing factories in Kaduna yesterday with labour officials.

Led by the Textiles Workers Union Secretary General and member of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) National Executive Council (NEC), Issa Aremu, the workers pointed out that three years in Buhari’s government, the textiles industries in the major cities in the country have remained closed against the pledge by the President in 2015 that the factories would come back to life.

Aremu said, while fielding questions from journalists after hosting the Minister, that, “We must believe in our government; not only about what they say, it is about what we want them to do. Even the fact that they have moved around the factories and President said he is committed to the revival of textiles, it is because we are putting pressure.”

According to him: “There is no future for Nigeria without industrialisation. And why should the industry collapse? We commend them for the commitment to the revival of textiles, but they must work the talk to make this a reality.

“Why will state emergency agencies go and buy tapoline and blankets in the open market that is full of smuggled goods. And at times they even go to China buy, while the ones produced by local industries are abandoned.

“And the Federal Government should also direct the Army, Customs, Police and other paramilitary institutions to buy made in
Nigeria goods.”

Stressing that labour and textiles workers would not allow ineffective leadership in the country any longer, Aremu said: “All stakeholders in the industry and labour have resolved that in 2019 only those who are committed to moving this country forward, industrially, will get the votes of workers. Only those who are committed to the revival of industry, employment of workers and adequate pay for them will get their votes.

“If they don’t do so we won’t vote for them.”

In the same vein, President of the Textiles Workers Union, John Adaji, while reinforcing the position of Aremu, remarked: “Let me not fail to acknowledge the efforts of the minister to move Nigerian industries out of the woods.

“But as per result, if you ask me it is work in progress and below expectation.

“This is because, my expectation is such that after three years of this administration, at least by now I should be counting additional membership in the industries. And that can be a result of reviving the closed textiles factories or establishing new ones.

“But, up till just December last year we are still losing membership, so, there are lots of talks, a lot of policies but less result.”

The minister, in her remarks solicited for the support and understanding of the textiles workers, saying that the government is working to ensure its campaign promises to revive Nigerian industry.

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