30th October, 2014
The Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr lssa Aremu, has said that Nigerians import N3 billion worth of textiles and garments annually without paying duties or taxes to government.
He made this known in llorin when he spoke to newsmen on Thursday.
The NLC Vice President said that 90 per cent of textile products in the Nigerian market were smuggled goods.
“It is sad to note that the Federal Government had talked about a new textile policy since February 2013, but there had been no progress on this policy initiative to critically turn around the fortunes of the sector.”
Aremu warned that unless effective steps were taken by the government to reverse the decline in the textile Industry, gains achieved in 2010 would be lost to the nation.
He stated that the situation had aggravated the unemployment situation in the country.
According to him, the NLC and the TUC would observe this year’s Africa Industrialisation Day on the Nov. 20 in its effort to arouse the interest of the international community to the industrialisation of Africa.
Aremu commended the move by Dangote Group to re-industrialise Africa through an unprecedented investment of nine billion dollars in an oil refinery and a petrochemical complex in the country.
He said that its job creation potential was very strong and gratifying.
On the 2015 general elections, the NLC boss appealed to Nigerians, particularly politicians to end the ugly trend of violence in the nation’s democratic process.
He warned against the use of inflammatory statements capable of causing disaffection in the society.
Aremu also enjoined INEC to ensure the conducts of free and fair elections.
He said that Labour would only support development and labour-friendly candidates who had respect for labour laws, workers rights and also believed in the payment of minimum wage to workers.
Aremu restated that labour must remain in the exclusive legislative list and should not be transferred to the concurrent list.