APA – Lagos (Nigeria)
The report that the Nigerian Government has invited organised labour to a meeting in a last-minute bid to stop the planned October 3, 2023 nationwide strike announced by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress on Tuesday dominates the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.
The Punch reports that the Nigerian Government has invited organised labour to a meeting in a last-minute bid to stop the planned October 3, 2023 nationwide strike announced by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress on Tuesday.
The two unions had declared an indefinite strike with effect from Tuesday to protest the alleged failure of the FG to provide post-subsidy palliatives for workers, but the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity assured Nigerians it would meet with the leadership of the unions before they shut down the economy.
The spokesperson for the labour ministry, Olajide Oshundun, said the meeting scheduled for Tuesday, would be centred on the pronouncements that would be made by President Bola Tinubu during his October 1 Independence Day broadcast.
Tinubu is expected to unveil the palliative package for workers in the customary presidential speech to commemorate Nigeria’s Independence Day.
Oshundun disclosed in an interview with one of our correspondents, that the two major demands from the unions had been presented to the government.
He further said that the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Simon Lalong, had met one of the NLC’s demands which was the release of the factional National President of the National Association of Road Transport Workers, Tajudeen Baruwa, from police custody.
The newspaper says that no fewer than 3,567 jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector in the first half of 2023 according to figures obtained by The PUNCH from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
MAN disclosed this in its half yearly review of the economy, which was released on Tuesday.
According to the report, employment generation in the manufacturing sector declined to 6,428 in the first half of 2023.
This was 32.8 per cent reduction in employment generation capacity when compared with 9,559 jobs generated in the first half of 2022.
The report read partly, “In the same vein, a total of 3,567 jobs were lost in the first half of 2023, indicating 1,855 more jobs lost when compared with the 1,709 jobs lost in the corresponding half of 2022, and 850 more jobs lost when compared with 2708 jobs lost in the last half of 2022.”
MAN said the decline in the number of jobs created in the sector during the period further highlighted the unfriendly business environment, resulting from the hasty policies and residual effect of the currency redesign policy that led to the naira crunch.
The report also stated that the inventory of unsold finished products in the manufacturing sector increased to N271.9bn during the first half of 2023, compared to N187bn in the corresponding period of 2022.
The Guardian reports that the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, has decried the unprecedented level of insecurity in the country, which he said has severe negative implications for investment flows and businesses.
Speaking at this year’s edition of the LCCI Security meets Business Dialogue Series held yesterday in Lagos, he said the incidents of insecurity range from activities of unknown gunmen, killing of security personnel; killer herdsmen and bandits; boko haram insurgencies, armed robbery attacks, kidnapping, political/ religious crisis, murder, destruction of oil facilities in the Niger Delta, child abduction/ trafficking; burning of places of worship and killing of clergymen and women; burning of police stations, schools, hospitals, clinics, shops, army barracks and residential houses as well as abduction of expatriates.
All these negative factors, he said, have caused the country to consistently rank outside the best countries to live in and do business by the Global Security Threat Index, a major index for global investment destinations. “In 2023, Nigeria is ranked the 10th worst country, scoring 9 out of 10, close to Burkina Faso, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Mali, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, who are all experiencing civil and military unrest. Between 2014 and 2023, the average value for Nigeria was 9.2 index points, with a minimum of 8.7 index points in 2020 and a maximum of 9.9 index points in 2015.”
He regretted that these factors affect local businesses here in the country and prevent foreign investors from coming in to invest, adding that the private sector’s cost of providing alternative security is beyond alarming. He added that despite running at a loss, many businesses have to provide security for themselves and insurance premiums for security-related risks have risen significantly.
“Also, in the telecommunication sector, there has been a significant increase in the cases of stolen/vandalised equipment. In contrast, the oil and gas sector has continued to experience more cases, particularly the vandalisation of infrastructure and increasing oil theft. Furthermore, insecurity in Nigeria has been a significant driver of inflation, food insecurity, and food supply challenges.
The event had in attendance, all the security agencies in the country including the navy, army, police, air force, paramilitary, NSCDC among others, and the chamber said it was necessary to chart the way forward with them to proffer new solutions to old and new problems to safeguard lives and businesses.
Representing the deputy commissioner of police (department of operations), Lagos State command, DCP Tijani Fatai, CP Idowu Owohunwa, spoke on how the police can make the country a haven for local and foreign investors.
Admitting that the poor security situation in the country has completely eroded investors’ confidence, he said they are doing all they can to stem the ugly trend of rising insecurity and restore confidence in the system to attract foreign investors.
The newspaper says that stakeholders are worried about rising plastic and non-degradable wastes generated yearly in the country, stressing that they are threatening marine transportation and life at sea.
They lamented that despite the enactment of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) 50 years ago with Nigeria ratifying and domesticating it, there have been non-implementation and enforcement policies to the global instrument to counter pollution in the marine environment.
They stated this at the Lagos International Maritime Week (LIMWEEK) 2023, hosted by Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd with the theme: ‘MARPOL at 50: Pollution from Ships, Africa’s Commitment to Clean Oceans, Seas, Inland Waters and Maritime Environment’, held in Lagos.
The President of African Women in Maritime (WIMA) Nigeria, Rollens Macfoy, lamented that domestic wastes, including all plastics and other non-degradable waste, find their way into the waters, thereby endangering water transportation and destroying aquatic life.
Macfoy also noted that pollution from vessels such as ballast water has a damaging effect on the fishing sector.
She said the waste, which enters the sea destroys marine craft, just as she narrated her experience on a speed boat that stopped in the middle of the sea due to a plastic bag that got stocked in the engine.
Nigeria: Press spotlights nationwide strike announced by organized labour, others
APA – Lagos (Nigeria)