The National Union of Textile and Garment Workers of Nigeria (NUTGWN) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reject the call for the devaluation of the naira and removal of fuel subsidy.
Mr. Isa Aremu, Secretary General of the union, made the call in a report on Sunday while reacting to a call made by Muhammdu Sunusi II, Emir of Kano, who asked the Federal Government to completely remove fuel subsidy.
Sunusi, who is a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had during his speech at an award ceremony in Lagos, stressed the need for the Federal Government to completely remove fuel subsidy.
The Emir had also urged the Presidency and CBN to reconsider their stance against naira devaluation, saying that the country could not continue to live “in denial’’.
He urged the men and women appointed to serve as ministers under President Muhammadu Buhari not to always engage on insincere flattery of the President but to always have the courage to advise him honestly.
However, Aremu said that the former CBN governor was right to have advised the in-coming ministers against “flattery’’ of the President, but he stressed the need for Buhari to be weary of policy dictatorship that will further undermine growth and development as well as worsen poverty in the country.
The labour leader said, “There is no choice for the President between policy sycophancy and policy dictatorship/policy ambush.
“Emir Sanusi must rethink outside the box of neo-liberal IMF’s unhelpful policies of devaluation (which he commendably rejected as CBN governor).
“Nigeria needs a new paradigm of bold policy choices and new star-words in place of boring ideological mantra of devaluation and subsidy removal.
“The naira in recent time lost its value drastically to the existing devalued rate of N197 to a dollar.
“This has further eroded wage income of millions of workers (many with unpaid monthly salaries) thereby worsening poverty.“
“We support the bold measures of the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, in managing the scarce foreign reserve through restrictions on some frivolous imports.
“Nigeria, more than any nation, currently suffers huge capital inadequacy with the nation’s foreign currency reserves falling sharply by some 27 per cent to $29 billion since the end of September.”
Aremu, therefore, urged leaders to concentrate on good governance and not on the issue of subsidy removal.
“Nigerians look forward to urgent fixing of the existing refineries, passage of PIB, reorganisation and repositioning of NNPC, reinvention of the downstream infrastructures of fuel production and distribution and ending crude oil theft.
“So, the new administration should reject one-cap-fits-all policy dictates,“ he said.
The NUTGWN president said that the new ministers would be judged based on their initiatives and policy thrusts injected into governance in line with the electoral promises to promote the welfare and security of Nigerians.