As recession bites harder, a labour union has tasked the Federal Government to speed up diversification of the economy.
According to the Chemical and Non-Metallic Senior Staff Association (CANMPSSA), the Federal Government should explore diversification of such sectors as agriculture, tourism, solid minerals, hospitality and others to buffer its foreign exchange earnings.
Its President, Mohammed Abdul Gafar, who stated this Thursday in Ilorin, Kwara State, at the three-day Annual National Management/Industrial Relations Seminar and Entrepreneurship Skills Acquisition, said the economy, which has defied all reasonable economic policies so far proposed, calls for more seriousness on the planned diversification.
“The focus on crude oil as the major source of revenue for the economy has greatly incapacitated all other available sources of revenue in our country and, by implication, has affected our sector with the exchange rate of the Naira to Dollar rising astronomically”, he said.
He reasoned that Nigeria, immensely blessed with skilled personnel, materials and natural resource should not to have been in the present precarious situation, but for lack of foresight of the past leaders.
As a way out, the labour leader said Federal Government should give priority to agriculture which, he said, has been a major source of revenue generation and raw material bases for manufacturing industries.
“Effort should be made to consolidate on massive production of cash crops segment of agricultural sector for exportation of agro-allied products to boost the revenue and increase the GDP of the country”, he stated.
Gafar lamented that the effect of the present economic situation in the country has been devastating on the manufacturing sector of the economy, through the scarcity of foreign exchange, harping that government should march its words on backward integration with action.
He noted that industries in Nigeria have now embarked on various strategies to enable them remain in business, some which are detrimental to to the workers.
The CANMPSSA President said the union as part of its contribution to resolve the problem has as a theme of its seminar, “Strengthening Organisational performance in a depressed economy: chemical and non-metallic products experience”.
He said, “Our challenge is that nobody in government is paying attention to the problem in the manufacturing sector, it is so bad now that we wonder how industries are coping. So as workers we believe that we can work together, create synergy that will stabilise our organisations and increase our productivity.”