Thread Carefully on ACFTA to Avoid Ruining Local Industries, NLC Tells FG

* Calls on Buhari to overhaul security apparatus

By Paul Obi in Abuja

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC)Wednesday urged the federal government to thread carefully on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) so as to avoid ruining local industries in Nigeria.

The NLC President Ayuba Wabba stated this during the 61st general meeting of the National Employers Consultative Association (NECA).

Wabba, who was represented by NLC General Secretary, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, charged the federal government to be discreet and painstaking in making any agreements with regards to ACFTA.

He said: “The NLC urges the government to thread carefully on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA). Government should ensure robust consultations with labour and employers before ratifying the ACFTA.

“The government should ensure that smuggling and false declarations on countries of origin do not stifle local competitiveness of Nigerian businesses if ACFTA is eventually ratified.”

On insecurity, the NLC president bemoaned the negative impact of terrorism and killings by herdsmen and insurgency on the nation’s economy.

Wabba called on “government to overhaul our the security architecture to deal with emerging security threats that are threatening to stifle the current economic recovery and growth especially after the last recession”.

He added: “Many businesses have been shut down in many of the flash point communities as many innocent Nigerians are forced to flee from their homes and take up residence in Internally Displaced Persons camps scattered all over the country. 

“The recent resurgence of Boko Haram also needs to be tackled. While we commend the Nigerian Armed Forces for the sacrifice and commitment to restore normalcy and peace in different troubled spots in our country, we warn of the dire consequences of allowing the current gloomy security situation in Nigeria to relapse into a political recession.”

NLC also cautioned NECA against abusing workers’ rights and short changing them in their entitlements. The body warned that it will soon embark on serious picketing of companies that abuse workers’ rights just as it recently picketed MTN across the country.

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