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Thursday, April 18, 2024

50,000 Abuja Workers Sacked In 2 Months

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Over 50,000 workers have been laid off in Abuja i two months following the continued scarcity of foreign exchange for importation of raw materials by local industries.

This was made known in Abuja by the President of the Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry, ACCI, Tony Ejinkeonye.

Ejinkeonye revealed that more people could join the already large number of retrenched workers if the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari fails to address the problem of forex exchange as a matter of urgency.

He said: “Currently, in Abuja, we have about 50,000 workers that have lost their jobs in the last two months. I must confess this is not a good time for the manufacturing sector.”

“As manufacturers and industrialists, the scarcity of foreign exchange has affected us in the area of raw materials that need to be imported. We cannot access foreign exchange anymore to import raw materials.”

“Also, maintenance of some of these facilities has become a problem because the spare parts have to be imported and the inability to get foreign exchange to import them has impacted negatively on our operations.

“Some of our members who are manufacturers have even gone to the extreme of withdrawing their goods from the market and need to increase their prices to reflect the high foreign exchange rate. Many of us are having the problem of retaining our workers because the production is being hampered by lack of raw materials.”

He told Punch that the situation had become so bad that even big manufacturing companies such as Unilever Nigeria Plc, Dangote Cement, Air France and Emirate Airlines were having problem getting foreign exchange.

He added: “There is a need for government to do something urgently and stop living in denial. The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance should come out and say something that would move us out of this forex crisis.

“Things are really bad. As I’m talking to you now, Unilever, Dangote Cement and our other members are crying. A lot of companies have also threatened to lay off workers. If something urgently is not done within the next 30 days by the government to address this, you will see companies like Dangote and Unilever Nigeria sacking some of their workers.

“Airlines like Air France and Emirates are really having very serious problems now in taking back their foreign earnings.”

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