Daily Trust (Abuja)

20 November 2012

Nigeria: NLC Protests Deindustrialisation At African Industrialisation Ceremony

The rowdy scene by the NLC's protest at the African Industrialization commemoration at Shehu Musa 'Yar'adua Center, today

Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress today broke in to the Shehu Musa 'Yar'adua Center where the African Industrialisation Day was being celebrated to protest against dumping of cheap and substandard products in to the Nigerian Market.

The unionists trooped into the hall shortly after the event began, chanting labour songs with placards some of which read that reads "industrialise now!," Nigeria is not a dumping ground," and forcing the programme to stop even with the presence of the minister of state for Trade and Investment, Samuel Ortom.

Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Issa Aremu, who led the rally said President Jonathan needs to tour the country's industrial areas and see the infrastructure wasting instead of government officials visiting industrial areas of other countries.

"If Obama can buy out General Motors and create thousands of jobs, why not us," Comrade Aremu wondered.

According to him: "Instead of doing insufficient Good Governance tours in which you go and look at uncompleted roads that leads to nowhere, I think we want to call on president Jonathan through your office. You must have a special tour of all the industrial areas in this country. Because seeing is believing. It doesn't make sense that our leaders make trips to China. They go to Malaysia to go and be looking at their industrial sites when what you have here you've not even seen them."

He added that "the only way to produce sustainable stable jobs is through industrialisation. It is not through this YouWin Lottery thing that is being done by the ministry of finance in which you are training entrepreneurs. Why are you training entrepreneurs when the existing ones are dying? The only way to train entrepreneurs is to make sure that our students, our graduates work in the factories to acquire skills. So, if you bring the enterprises back, we will able to create jobs."

The minister of state for trade and Investment, Samuel Ortom, told the workers that they were thinking along the same direction with the government as the Federal Government is keen on industrialisation.

He said: "Government at this time is not only paying lip service to the things that affect us especially industrialisation. Government is committed, is aware of the challenges and steps are being taken to ensure that we tackle these challenges and come out with actionable programs that will bring sustainable industrialisation.

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