By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to prioritise foreign exchange allocation to manufacturers in order to forestall job losses.
This charge was given by Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, during an interactive session with National Executive of National Union of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employee (NUFBTE) in Abuja.
Mr Ngige at the meeting also reiterated Federal Government’s unwavering commitment towards ensuring that industries remain operational, despite the lingering socio-economic challenges
“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,” the Minister said.
He also tasked the organized labour unions to support the efforts of President Buhari led administration at reducing the country’s overdependence on imported goods and raw materials which are inimical to the nation’s foreign reserve.
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.
“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,” Mr Ngige urged.
Speaking earlier, Lateef Oyelekan, NUFBTE president, applauded the minister’s 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.
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