The National Union of Chemical Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE) has asked the federal government for a tax holiday and other measures to help cushion the impact of the Covid-19 on the sector.
According to the President of the union, Goke Olatunji, the effects of the pandemic on the private sector could be severe enough to cause the closure of companies and massive job losses. The union requested a tax holiday to boost to enable them pay wages as well to encourage investment.
Olatunji urged employers of labour in the sector not to layoff, adding that the union was ready to hold talks with the employers.
He lamented that the worst hit with even those on the frontline, and at homes living in fear of non-payment of their salaries and other benefits as well as the security of their jobs after the pandemic, and urged the federal government to guarantee job security.
Olatunji asked the federal government to ensure protection of job across the country even as it advocated for intervention for the sector.
“Covid -19 has affected our lives in such a way that it is as if the country is starting life afresh. To this end, we must together- government, employers and workers to give all to rejig our economy to avoid the looming acute recession by attending to the following.
“Consequent upon this Covid-19, many workers might eventually lose their means of livelihood. We call on government to protect the workers from some uncharitable employers. Workers should not be made victims of convid-19. Similarly, it has been brought to our knowledge that some employers are saying they cannot pay salaries for the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown. It is evil and inhuman to come up with such decision. This is the time individuals and organizations should show that workers are partners in progress.
“COVID 19 has once again brought to realisation that any economy dependent on a sole commodity is incapable of taking that country out of the wood. Nigeria must take advantage of her natural and human resources now. Diversification and incentives from government are key to successful industrialisation.”
“We call on government at all levels to exploit the potential of the agricultural sector. The Small and Medium Scale businesses (informal sector) should also be encouraged because of the critical role it plays in employment generation,” Olatunji said.
The President also called for improved infrastructure amenities such as good roads, effective power supply and adequate good medical facilities that would carter for the upsurge in the population.