• Sunday, December 03, 2023
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Labour decries rising food inflation

Nigerians pay most for food since 1999

…says transport fares choking workers

Segun David, national president of the Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (CANMPSSAN) has lamented the rising food inflation rate at 30.6 percent, with transportation rising to 27.2 percent.

David, who spoke at the opening session of the 28th annual national management/industrial relations seminar held in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital between November 13 and 15, 2023, bemoaned the resultant effects of the fuel subsidy removal on the Nigerian workers.

The theme of the seminar was “Creative and innovative strategies to manage workers’ expectations and reality in a challenging economy”. It was specifically packaged to x-ray Nigeria’s current economic conundrum.

The labour leader noted that the government of President Bola Tinubu, though new, must make frantic efforts to improve the welfare of Nigerian workers at this critical time.

He stressed the need for Nigerian workers to strategise on how to manage expectations in the face of dwindling incomes and understand the reality on ground, noting that “employers are struggling to adapt to the unfavourable policies of the government, especially, the fuel subsidy removal.”

“As of the last count, a dollar is above a thousand naira. Manufacturing industries depend solely on forex to survive, the fluidity in the forex market is yet to yield any positive result, rather things are getting worse.

Read also: Nigeria’s food inflation hits 31.5% in October

“Nigeria depends on importation to
survive, the high exchange rate in Nigeria, as of September 2023 reached an 18-year high of 26.7 percent.

“The removal of fuel subsidy attributed also to the high inflation rate. Prices of food jumped to 30.6 percent high, transportation 27.2 percent, housing and utilities 22.5 percent and miscellaneous goods and services rose to 21.9 percent high respectively.

“There is no essential of life that has not been touched; food, housing, transport, electricity, clothing, maintenance, education, health, recreation and communications.

“Given the analysis above, we need to strategise on how we can manage our expectations in the face of dwindling incomes and understand the reality on ground.”

Also speaking, Babatunde Olatunji,
the national president of the National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), said challenges confronting the Nigerian workers include “hike in electricity tariffs, high inflation that is affecting standard of living, insufficient infrastructure, epileptic power supply, multiple taxation on companies, insecurity, among others.

“Nigerians are lamenting over the subsidy removal which has taken a toll on the lives of Nigerians. For instance, from pepper sellers, and pepper grinders to vehicle owners who no longer use their vehicles due to the high cost of fuel, including the high electricity tariffs.

“All these factors affect workers and as such government must do something about this. Looking at security issues, yet no solution in sight. So, our political leaders should think of the after-effects of this to safe the country from going down,” he said.