Trade Unions Urged to Key into CBN Development Finance Initiatives

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Issa Aremu

Okon Bassey in Uyo

The Vice President of the Industrial Global Union, Mr. Issa Aremu, has advised various labour unions across the country to key into the development finance initiatives being promoted by the Central Bank of Nigerian (CBN) across the country.

He made the call at a one-day interactive session with labour leaders and other stakeholders in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, while speaking on the 5-year policy trust of the CBN titled: “Promoting Sustainable Economic Development.”

Aremu, one of the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) insisted that promoting development finance, targeted intervention in agriculture, reviving the textile Industry were central to the concern of the trade union movement.

According to him, the vision of CBN under the leadership of Godwin Emefiele showed that the CBN had seen ahead, some of the challenges facing the country.

He noted that the Coronavirus (CONVID-19) now affecting the global economy was a signal for Nigeria to diversify the economy, in line with the focus of the CBN Governor.

“Everybody is talking about China. China has virtually shut down production. The lesson of this is that, we should return to the vision of CBN that has always been saying it is time for us to compliment monetary policy with active development financing that will promote domestic production.

“With what is happening now with Coronavirus, countries are now running up and down to see how they can survive.

“We must begin to look inward because if you want to import from China, it’s not possible because China has closed down most of her production, supply chain has really gone down.

“So instead of importing tooth picks, tomatoes, we must use our own local technology, because we are living at very difficult time. Schools have shut down in France, Italy, Spain, and basically all the basic food stuffs have disappeared in Switzerland.”

The unionist added: “Emefiele looks like the man who saw tomorrow. Others must complement this effort. Nigeria must produce what we consume and consume what we produce.

“The vision of president Buhari to create 10 million jobs can only be possible if we diversify our economy. What CBN has done is to restrict foreign exchange to finance.”

Also speaking, the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor said the CBN had been going round telling labour, “what we are doing and labour telling us what we should do.”

He added: “In 2014, Emefiele was sworn in as CBN Governor and he made a statement that the welfare of ordinary Nigerians will underpin all policies, initiatives and programmes of the CBN.

“What that means is that for the first time the CBN is concerned practically with the welfare of the ordinary Nigerian. That is why labour should be interested in what we are doing.”