Recession: 3,000 Steel Workers Lose Jobs, As Biggest Pipe Factory Shuts

Recession: 3,000 Steel Workers Lose Jobs, As Biggest Pipe Factory Shuts

By Ekamma Jacobs | Staff Reporter on November 30, 2016
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FILE: A worker operates in the blast furnace at ArcelorMittal's steel plant in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. | Martin Divisek/Bloomberg

The National Union of Iron and Steel Workers on Wednesday said 3,000 of its members lost their jobs in the last quarter of 2015 following closure of steel companies due to the recession.

Kasimu Kadiri, general secretary of the union said in Lagos on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 that the current economic recession had increased the number of unemployed people.

Kadiri was reacting to plans to shut the biggest pipe factory, SCC Nigeria Limited, due to the economic recession. The pipe factory inaugurated a 280,000- ton ultra modern steel pipe manufacturing in Oct, 2015 in Ushafa, Abuja.

However, after several months of zero-production, the government announced plan to close it due to low patronage. The union leader said continuous closure of steel companies had negatively affected the steel sector, especially its workers.

Mr. Kadiri appealed to the government to stop importation of finished steel products to allow local production thrive.

“Government should also create an enabling environment for local producers to grow to reduce the number of unemployed people. We are equally appealing to the government to revisit the Ajaokuta agreement and restructure it to absorb people in the labour market,” he said.

Kadiri explained that the 7th Senate cancelled the agreement with global infrastructure on Ajaokuta Steel which later opted for litigation. He said the federal government should take advantage of the recent directive of the court that parties used alternative means to settle the matter.

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