The scarcity of foreign exchange for importation of raw materials by local industries is adversely affecting the sector as over 50,000 workers have lost their jobs in Abuja in the last two months.
The President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye, confirmed the job losses in an exclusive interview with our correspondent in Abuja.
Similarly, the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Frank Jacobs, said that about 10 companies had formally notified the association about their intention to shut down operations before the end of this month.
“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,” he said.
He said majority of manufacturers operating in Abuja could no longer access foreign exchange to import raw materials, adding that those who managed to get forex from the black market could not sell their products as consumers could not pay the high prices.
He said, “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.”
The ACCI president said 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 stressed the need for the Federal Government to come up with a comprehensive approach that would address the problem.
He said, “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 urgent 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.”
Ejinkeonye added, “Airlines like Air France and Emirates are really having very serious problems now in taking back their foreign earnings.”
The MAN president said about 10 companies had indicated its plan to close shop before the end of the month.
He said with each of these companies employing an average of 200 people, a total of 2,000 workers would be affected if they decided to shut down their operations.
He said, “A number of our companies have formally written to us that they are going to close shop. Currently, we have about 10 companies that have written us informing us that they are running out of raw materials and that by the end of this month, they may close down.
“We do know that it is going to be more towards the end of the first quarter because many of them that have raw materials that can’t replenish them are likely to shut down.”
Jacobs called on the government to revisit the ban on 41 items from accessing the forex from the official window, especially items considered essential raw materials for manufacturing.
He said, “Many companies that have applied for foreign exchange for even those items that are not on the 41 ban list are finding it difficult to access foreign exchange from the central bank. So, we are calling on the CBN to make foreign exchange available for essential raw materials.”
#EndSARS: National Broadcasting Commission Fines Arise TV, AIT, Channels TV N9 Million
National Broadcasting Commission Goes After Arise TV, AIT, Channels TV for Using Unverified Online Footages
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Monday fined Arise Tv, African Independent Television (AIT) and Channels Television about N3 million each for violating the commission broadcasting codes during the #EndSARS protest that rocked the nation in this past week.
The commission accused the television stations of using unverified online video footages on their respective platforms.
The Acting Director-General of the commission, Mr Armstrong Idachaba, said the fines were the initial warning before a heavier santion will be imposed on the stations for gross defiance of the commission broadcasting codes.
The three stations were fined for their alleged roles in escalating the violence that rocked the nation last week by airing various unverified online images of shootings of peaceful protesters at Lekki Toll Gate by securitity operatives in army uniforms.
Idachaba alleged that “Channels Television, Arise TV and AIT especially continued to transmit footages obtained from unverified and unauthenticated social media sources, adding that the pictures stimulated anger and heightened the violence that was witnessed during the crisis.”
He stated: “We believe the whole country has now seen why the spurious and recklessness on the social media must not be patronised by the mainstream traditional media. We are at the stage of our nation’s history when our broadcasters have a crucial responsibility for responsive and professional broadcasting. By picking unverified, unsubstantiated social media sources and repeating the narratives, our broadcasters have shown crass lack of professionalism and a disposition to be escalators of conflict and, more seriously, a threat to Nigeria. Look at the level of damage, killings that have happened on account of unverifiable reports”.
He described the situation as disagrceful were traditional broadcast stations turned themeselves to social media pundits, using a video footage from a DJ as news source.
“Where is the authenticity, where is the credibility,” he queried.
He, therefore, said “It is beginning to look as if it is a deliberate ploy, so the option available is to shut down the industry but that is not the position of the government. Left for me, I would have considered some of that portion We decided to categorise the offence as Category B offence but it is easily escalated to A and A will be a shutdown. But we still pin it down to B, which is a heavy fine between N500,000 to N5 million and none of them will pay less than N2 million but any further breach will lead to the withdrawal of the licence,” he warned.
Npower News: Npower Stipend News, Npower News on Permanency
Npower News on Permanency and Payment of Allowances
The N-power Youths Congress has made passionate plead to President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill the campaign promise he made to the 500,000 Npower Batches A and B beneficiaries.
The group led by its national coordinator, Comrade Joseph Enam Magar, to the NUJ Press Center Maiduguri demanded the payment of all outstanding allowances of N30,000 for exited Batch A and Batch B from June 2016 and July 2019, respectively.
Maga said “We are hereby once again reminding the government of their promises to us and that we will never relent until federal government fulfils it’s promises. The State Representatives of Npower Beneficiaries have earlier stated our demands on the previous Press Conference and here we are reinstating the demands again.
“The Batches A and B of N-power Beneficiaries who according to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management were disengaged since the month of June and July respectively are not happy for being sent back to the streets.
“We were struggling in different spheres of life to make a living. We were meant to quit the things we were doing before to embrace Npower with the promise of being absolved into the Federal Government scheme at the end of the day.
“We were made to serve our fatherland with a token of 30,000. Most of us have families with children, paying of school fees, electricity bills, pipe borne water, transportation, feeding and other miscellaneous expenses on the grace of 30,000.
“How much is a bag of rice, ground nut oil, etc if I may ask? Some of us have siblings and sick parents whose hopes are attached to the same 30,000.
“To worsen it all, the same 30,000 will not be paid as at when due. Funny enough, our government under the control of Sadiya Farouk, the Ministers of Humanitarian affairs and disaster management want us to save from the 30,000.
“This is an amount that is not up to one quarter percent of what they give to their children for shopping; an amount that does not reach what their children put on as cloths and jewelries on daily basis.”
Speaking further he said,” in addition, we can recall that before the 2019 Presidential Election, we were made to understand by Mr. Afolabi that our voter’s cards determine our permanency. “
“We mobilized ourselves, came out in mass to support this government. We spent our money going to Abuja for the campaign so as to ensure that President Muhammad Buhari regains his office as the president of Nigeria. Npower beneficiaries in various states and Local Governments were equally forced by their focal persons to come out in mass during APC campaign.
“So many states even took attendance and beneficiaries that didn’t show up were penalized. All these were geared towards ensuring that Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari excel as the president so that the promises of absorption that was made through Mr. Afolabi will be fulfilled.
“But at the end, our hopes were truncated as we have been pushed back to the streets without absorption or an exit package.”
MTN Nigeria Picks Karl Toriola as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Designate
MTN Nigeria, Africa’s leading telecommunications company, has appointed Mr. Karl Toriola as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) designate.
In a statement released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s website, the company said the appointment is effective from the 1st of March 2021 to give enough time for an orderly handover.
According to the company, Mr. Toriola is presently the Vice President of West and Central Africa (WECA), excluding Nigeria and Ghana, since 2016.
The statement reads “During his tenure, the WECA markets have made significant commercial and strategic strides. These include the improvement of market shares within the region and the development of mobile financial services.
“Since joining the Group in 2006, Mr. Toriola has also held a number of senior operational roles including Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, CEO of MTN Cameroon and MTN Group Operations Executive. Mr. Toriola has at various times in his career in MTN Group, had oversight responsibility of 16 of the Group subsidiaries and serves on various MTN boards, including MTN Nigeria.
“Mr. Toriola obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Ife, a Master of Science degree in Communication Systems from the University of Wales, and attended the General Management Program at Harvard Business School. In addition, he has attended several executive development courses at various institutions including Wharton Business School, Institute of Management Development and London Business School.”
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