In 5 years we lost over 20,000 members - Union president

In 5 years we lost over 20,000 members - Union president

The president of the National Union of Chemical Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLNMPE), Comrade Olatunji Babatunde ‘Goke, has said job losses in the country has continued unabated, worsening the already employment crisis confronting Nigeria.

Goke in an interview with Vanguard, said no fewer than 20,000 members have lost their jobs in the last five years.

He said: "Before now, we were about 40,000 and as at today, we are less than 20,000. Within the last five years, we have lost over 20,000 members. Take for example in Lafarge, we had over 1,000 members, but as at today, we have less than 100 members.

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"When you ask, the management will tell you that the minimum entry in Lafarge is OND. The moment you have the OND and you present the OND, you become an automatic senior staff. What that means is that we now have higher number of senior staff in the company. That is another problem that confronts the union."

Goke added that: "As a contract staff, the casual job is a job that is casual in nature, so it is a job that you could do between two and three days or a week. But contract staff and outsourcing issue has been discussed at the National Assembly and the Executive arm has kicked against this practice.

"The ministry of labour is the one encouraging the practice and worsening the situation. It is the ministry that issues licence to recruiters. It is a policy of patronage to friends and cronies. The ministry issues them recruiters’ licences and vice versa to employ casual workers, contract staff and outsourced. So, it is the ministry that is encouraging the employers.

"In Nigerian constitution, there is freedom of association, you are free to associate in as much as the worker is interested to join the union, but the employers have continued to refuse the workers the right to freedom of association.

In a previous report by, the federal government is set to invest N10 billion to ensure the provision of jobs for one million youths in the country under the National Egg Production Scheme (NEPRO).

The minister of agriculture and rural development, Audu Ogbeh, disclosed this during a press conference announcing the launch of the programme in Ondo state, Daily Trust reports.

He said the loan will be provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and will be disbursed by the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) at a single digit interest rate of 9%.

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