Labour hails CBN over improved naira value, decries rising inflation

Aremu

Organised labour has commended the recent measures of 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.

Experts attributed the naira appreciation 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 currency cash. 

Speaking at the one- day interactive session with stakeholders on the five-year policy trust of the apex Bank weekend, Vice President of Industriall Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu, hailed the CBN’s Monetary Policy  Committee (MPC) for resisting the pressures to bench mark the real value of naira with what he called “speculative  parallel market rates.

The front line labour leader who described currency devaluation in a developing economy as “false economics” 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. 

Aremu decried the rising inflation and price of food stuff despite the efforts  of the CBN to maintain price stability.

He however blamed the rising insecurity which he noted has 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 stabilize 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 the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) as well as 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, comrade 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 nation- wide 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 said. 

He observed that the lasting solution to “physical insecurity is economic security” which can only come through decent jobs for millions of unemployed youths across the federation. 

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