By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
Organized labour has commended the recent measures of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) aimed at shoring up the value of the Naira.
The Naira recently reversed its depreciation trend in the parallel market, recording N20 gain against the United States Dollar closing at N470 per dollar due to what observers attributed to the new rules introduced by the CBN, which allowed beneficiaries of diaspora remittances and foreign exchange transfers into domiciliary account, and collect the proceed in foreign currencies.
Speaking at the one-day interactive session with stakeholders on the five-year policy trust of the apex bank in Kaduna, weekend, Vice President of Industriall Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu, hailed the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee ( MPC) for resisting the pressures to benchmark the real value of Naira with what he called “speculative parallel market rates.”
The front line labour leader described currency devaluation in a developing economy as “false economics”.
He observed that Naira’s worth was better determined by “market fundamentals” aimed at driving growth and development protecting wage income rather than satisfying “the insatiable urge of currency speculators for unearned profits on the streets.”
He said Nigeria depends on imported inputs for industrial production, adding that “unmanaged exchange rates” and attendant devaluation would further increase the cost of production, depress wages, making the country uncompetitive and economic recovery intractable.
Comrade Aremu decried the rising inflation and price of foodstuff despite the efforts of the CBN to maintain price stability, blaming it on insecurity which he said had undermined agricultural production in the rural areas.
He urged the fiscal authorities in ministries of trade and investment, interior and agriculture to compliment CBN’s measures and stabilise the economy through appropriate industrial, agricultural and security policies that would stimulate and guarantee seamless productivity in the country.
Participants, drawn from affiliate unions of NLC and TUC and informal sector workers in the state, also acknowledged and commended the CBN’s development financing interventions in transportation, agriculture, cotton and textile sub-sectors, oil and gas sector aimed at self-reliance and domestic production.
On security, Aremu called for what he called “bi-partisan statesmanship through cooperation by states and non-state actors to confront banditry and criminal violence”.
“The recent nationwide concerns about growing insecurity are welcome, but Nigeria should not be a debating society but a functioning secured Republic.
“Blame games and calls for resignations of President or Service Chiefs are not helpful. In fact, acrimonies and discordant voices only benefit criminals.
“What is needed is bi-partisan cooperation to confront insecurity and the burden is on President Buhari to rally the nation against growing threats to lives and livelihoods.”
He observed that the lasting solution to “physical insecurity is economic security” which can only come through decent jobs for millions of unemployed youth across the federation.