FG assures manufacturers of access to FX

President Muhammadu Buhari have assured manufacturers in the country of access to foreign exchange in order to head-off job losses. The president gave the directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to prioritize foreign exchange availability in favour of manufacturers.

Speaking at an interactive session with the National Executive of the National Union of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employee (NUFBTE) in Abuja, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige communicated the president’s message to the union.

The labour minister restated the Federal Government’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that industries remain functional despite the persistent economic headwinds in the country.

“The Federal government has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that the backlog of applications for items needed to make industries remain operational are accorded priority in foreign exchange allocation to forestall job losses,” Ngige said.

Ngige also urged the nation’s organised labour unions to support the government’s effort at reducing the country’s overdependence on imports which is weighing on the nation’s foreign reserve.

The minister commended NUFBTE for going beyond protecting the welfare of its workers, to diversifying into job creating ventures, which is complementing the government’s effort in reducing unemployment among the youths.

“I wish to ask your union to do more than you have been doing by assisting the Federal Government proffer solution to the excessive reliance on imported goods and raw materials.

We want you to put on your thinking cap and devise ways and means of lessening reliance on importation by sourcing your raw materials locally to preserve our foreign exchange,” Ngige urged.

Also speaking at the event, Lateef Oyelekan, NUFBTE President, thanked the minister for being proactive in addressing many labour issues that could have morphed into bigger crisis.

He also appealed to the Federal Government to help beverage companies address the challenges they face in sourcing foreign exchange to import needed raw materials.

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