Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu has expressed sadness that 53 years after Nigeria’s independence, the country still relied on oil as the mainstay of its economy.
Aremu, who made the remark at a press conference yesterday, said it was high time the country diversified into sectors such as automobile, food and beverages, regretting that one of the problems the country was facing was the reliance on crude oil as the major source of revenue.
“The point I want to raise is that 53 years after independence, it is sad that we still rely on crude oil. The fundamental of our budget still rely on one source of revenue which is oil. I think I want to say next year the Federal Government should redouble its effort to make sure we add value through manufacturing sector. The only way to do so is for us to do as much as possible, to revive the industries not just the textiles but the automobile, food and beverages.
“There is a report that came out last week in a business newspaper that close to 130 companies have closed down in Nigeria. So, while our government is talking of direct foreign investment coming to Nigeria, we should make the point that the domestic investment is actually dying and you cannot create jobs if there are no industries. In fact, for us to solve the problem of unemployment is for us to add value to our natural resources and raw materials and process them into manufactured products.
“This is where I think government has taken a bold decision on the new automotive policy which is to restrict the whole sale importation of imported second hand vehicles. We hope this will give an incentive for domestic assembly plants to return to business such as Peugeot, Volkswagen, ANAMCO in Anambra”, he said.