Labour lauds NASS on Emefiele’s tenure extension, democracy day, condemns coup talks


Organised labour has commended the synergy between the executive arm and outgoing National Assembly that led to quick renewal of Godwin Emefiele’s appointment as Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor and recognition of June 12 as new democracy day. 

On the other hand, Labour has condemned, “reactionary forces with no fixed addresses, calling for unconstitutional regime change. Nigerians would resist any attempt to return Nigeria to the discredited past of military dictatorship. With the sixth democratic dispensation around the corner and 20 years of uninterrupted civil rule, Nigeria needs more democracy not less. Indeed, the alternative to insufficient democracy is more democracy”. 

The 8th NASS promptly confirmed the reappointment of Emefiele and passed the Public Holiday Act Amendment Bill which  recognizes June 12 as the new democracy day instead of May 29.  

Speaking in a statement made available to Blueprint on Sunday, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) NEC member, and General Secretary of the Textile workers union, Comrade Issa Aremu observed that the bipartisan consensus on the twin issues should be sustained in the resolution of urgent critical national issues such as re-industrialisation, inadequate electricity supply, insecurity, human capital development, endemic infrastructural deficits and poverty eradication. 

“The remarkable consensus on the two issues was a win-win for Nigeria. Where there was the collective will, there would be collective way for national development. I want to congratulate Dr Godwin Emefiele for the earned and deserved reappointment. It would go on record that Emefiele as the CBN governor commendably defended the autonomy of the CBN against the neo-liberal forces that were pushing for floating of naira with the attendant massive devaluation in the wake of the 2017 recession. 

“The relatively stable exchange rate had allowed for national planning and business decisions needed for development. But the most significant achievement of the CBN Governor was development financing which has revolutionized rice production and is rekindling the hope of revival of cotton production through cheap long term credit and direct purchase and supply of inputs for farmers.

“CBN should be as firm in targeting production, wealth generation and job creation as it is targeting inflation. Nigeria is a developing economy that needs an activist CBN which through monetary and development finance policy would make scarce capital available to labour intensive sector such as textile. Nigeria needs a CBN that must deliberately deny smugglers and economic saboteurs funds as  Emefiele has commendably done in recent  times,” Comrade Aremu said.

The labour leader urged deepening of financial inclusion in the entire textile value chains within the context of the Cotton, Textile and Garment policy (CTG), while assuring of the partnership with labour unions in the textile sector to revive the industry and create more jobs.

The former Labour Party gubernatorial candidate in Kwara state called on all governor-elects to initiate complementary fiscal and industrial policies in partnership with the federal government and the CBN to revive closed industries and reopen new ones to engage unemployed youths, adding, “the wealth of humans is the wealth of nations in the 21st century, but that is if humans are engaged in value-adding activities through full and compelling decent employment.”  

On June 12th, Comrade Aremu said, “the new democracy day has conclusively put a welcome closure to the tragedy of the annulment of 1993 popular election won by Chief Moshood Abiola. I laud President Muhammadu Buhari for the declaration as well as honouring the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election, with a posthumous conferment of the highest national award, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic.”

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