Wednesday, May 20, 2009

De-Industrialization of Nigerian economy


FACTS have begun to emerged how the poor electricity supply in the country has led and contributed to factory closures and declining manufacturing sector in Nigeria, leading millions of job loses.
In fact, in the Textile/garment as well as Chemical/Leather sectors of the economy, constant power failure in the country has either led to and was a major factor to closure of not less than one hundred factories scattered across the country.
According to vanguard investigations, while twelve manufactory companies in both Textile/Garment and Chemical/Leather sectors, three had their workers reduced from five thousand (5000) to seven hundred (700).
Confirming this unfortunate development and the steady de-industrialisation in the country, General Secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) and a Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu, declared that among the factories that closed down as a result of electricity failure included "Tarneries, Hufawa, Intertan, Multitan, Nakudu, Kano Textile Limited, Afrimpex and Harmatan (all based in Kano state) as well as most of leather industries in the state . In lagos, are Dunlop Industries, Leanard Shoes and Batta Shoes and Michelin Nigeria Limited, in Port-Harcourt, Rivers state.
Also poor power supply was attributed to have contributed majorly to the closure of the under-listed factories included Enpee, Nelco, NSF, Weaving and Processing, Swantex, Textile Specialities, ASSAN Industries, Jaybee, K-Issardas, Bhojaraj, Teev-Gold Star, Amarito-Umbrella, AD Gulas (all textile factories based in Ilupeju, in Lagos). Others are Five star, Afprint, Daltex,
Varaman, Royal Spinners, GDM, Aswani, Arcee, Rekha, King Carpet, Emar, President, Elite, Moon Diamond, Pacific, Eurosport, Barclays Clothing, ITI, Wabterry, Nigeria Fishing Net, Shiram, Monarch, Aflon (all based in Isolo), Texlon, Diamond Spinners, United Spinners, Top star, Tarpaulin, Steep, Coats West Africa, Panache, Pyramid, Central Bag Subaco, Globe Spinning (based in Amuwo Odofin). Abel Abu, First Spinners, Century and Platinum (based in Ikorodu), Kay Industries, NTM, Specomill, Reliance, Oriental, Madhu and Encee (based in Ikeka.)
Vanguard investigation confirmed because of unstable and failing power supply, Gombe based Ashaka Cement shed its work force from 2000 to 200, Lafarge, Ewekoro, ogun state, 1500 to 250 and its plant in Shagamu, 1500 to 250.
Investigation has also revealed that companies like Cadbury, Nestle foods have for the past 15 years not used public supply to power their plants because of the sensitivity of their equipment that must not be exposed to even a minute power failure.
At the kick-starting of a national mass protest in Lagos against steady de-industrialization of Nigeria as a result of increasing factory closures and the urgent need to re-industrialize Nigeria, Private Sector Union (PSU), shouted it loudly that lack of steady power supply had remained the greatest threat to the manufacturing sector in Nigeria and called on government to urgently address the issue.
Speaking to Vanguard, General Secretary of the National Union of Textile and Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Issa Aremu, lamented that in spite of huge money allegedly expended on the power sector, Nigeria is still walloping in darkness.
He argued no country has even industrialised without stable power supply and advised government to wake up to its responsibility and guarantee the citizens stable power supply to kick-start economy to meet the challenges of the day.
Again, in a pre-May Day Statement jointly issued by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), the two labour centres echoed the need for efficient power supply.
The labour leaders used the opportunity to once again kicked against government full deregulation of the downstream oil sector of the economy in the midst of the global economic recession which serious economies in the world are bailing out companies and intervening in their economies to fight the recession.
Addressing journalists on behalf of the two labour centres, Deputy President of NLC, Comrade Peters Adeymi, said: "We also note with grave concerns the decision of government to move for the removal of subsidies on petroleum and full deregulation of the down stream sector of the oil industry as part of the neo-liberal orthodoxies of the World Bank. This decision is contrary to approaches adopted by developed economies that champion the capitalism and the 'market logic'.
These countries like the U.S, Britain, Germany, France, Spam and others have been using state funds in billion of dollars lo bail out industries in virtually all sectors as ways to preserve jobs, income and welfare of their people and their national economies. The point is that they recognize that the people and their citizens come first and so government must be responsive and responsible to the people. For our government, its strategy of solving the problem is high on promises and low on implementation."
"A quick example is Government planned disbursement of N70 Billion textile industry bailout that is yet to see the light of the day 3 years after such promise, but it took the Obama administration well under 90 days to get over $700 billion released and pumped into the I'.S economy. We in the labour movement call on Government to show similar commitment and patriotism exhibited by the Nigerian people through demonstration of concrete political will in tackling these economic crises. We are quick to reiterate that we reject government renewed bid to remove subsidy and the implementation of full deregulation of the down stream sector of the oil industry. The multiplier effects will exacerbate hardship and poverty amongst our people, just as the timing is wrong, the logic of the policy is also skewed in favour of the few elites in society and anti-people."

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