By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to save the souls of over 20, 000 Nigerian workers who are working with local manufacturers and currently faced with threat of disengagement from work.
An interest group, Social Integrity Network, (SIN) at a rally organized in Kaduna disclosed that, “The Federal Government should urgently engage the Standard Organization of Nigeria to defend the many allegations against it by the manufacturers and give detailed accounts of how substandard roofing sheets are finding their ways intothe Nigerian markets despite the MANCAP and SONCAP fees imposed on importers and exporters.”
Speaking through its Spokesman during the peaceful protest, Mr. Ibrahim Issa, the group noted that, “If the Nigeria Custom Service and the Standard Organization of Nigeria cannot fish out the Smugglers, the Federal Government of Nigeria should command the Department of State, The Nigeria Police and the Presidential Committee on Trade Malpractices to join hands together to deploy the machineries in their arsenals to move into the matter and detect those behind the menace of smuggling in Nigeria.”
According to him, “We are all gathered here today to carry out peaceful demonstration to express our dissatisfaction against irregularities that is affecting our industries in Nigeria. It is our desire to swiftly respond against the looming crises of economic sabotage which is posing serious threat to the means of livelihood of average Nigerians.“
It would be recalled that recently, we all woke up to a widely spread news reports by a group under the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, (MAN). i.e Galvanised Iron and Steel Manufacturers Association, (GISMA) with the alert of planning to lay off 20,000workforces into the labour market.“
The 30 days warning alert was given due to the collapse of some sectors of Nigeria economy precipitated by massive smuggling of substandard products into Nigeria, targeted at collapsing the local manufacturers.”
The group further maintained that, “our investigation has revealed that smuggled substandard steel products have flooded every nooks and crannies of Nigeria thereby subjecting local manufacturers to serious economic and social investment misfortune.
“Our Questions now is that: What are the agencies saddled with these responsibilities such as the Nigeria Customs Service and Standard Organization of Nigeria doing about it in order to support President Muhammadu Buhari in his efforts to industrialize the nation?
“Information at our disposal is that some member-companies under GISMA are planning to start shedding their workforce under the euphemism of ‘stood off’, workforce rationalization and outright sacking of workers because they are yet to get meaningful success in their plights of ridding the nation of smuggling and illegal importation activities.”