Ngige tasks industries to source raw materials locally
The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, on Thursday, tasked organized labour unions to support the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari led administration at reducing the country's over dependence on imported goods and raw materials which are inimical to the nation's foreign reserve.
Ngige gave this charge while addressing the executive of National Union of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employee (NUFBTE), who were in his office on courtesy visit.
According to the Minister 'I wish to ask your union to do more than you have been doing by assisting the federal government proffer solution to the excessive reliance on imported goods and raw materials. We want you to put on your thinking cap and devise ways and means of lessening reliance on importation by sourcing your raw materials locally to preserve our foreign exchange.'
Speaking further, Ngige emphasized that the Federal Government was unwavering in its efforts at ensuring that industries remain operational, so as to check the incidence of job losses.
In his words, 'the Federal Government has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that the backlog of applications for items needed to make industries remain operational are accorded priority in foreign exchange allocation to forestall job losses.'
In addition, the Minister lauded NUFBTE for not only focusing on workers' welfare but also diversifying into job creation ventures, hence complementing the efforts of the Federal Government in stemming youth unemployment.
Earlier in his remarks, the President of NUFBTE, Comrade, Lattef Idowu Oyelekan appreciated the Minister for his intervention and pro-activeness at nipping in the bud, industrial issues that could snowball into crisis. He further appealed to the Federal Government to help beverage companies address the challenges they face in accessing foreign exchange for the importation of raw materials.