Former Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Chairman, Industrial Global Union, Africa Region, Comrade Issa Aremu yesterday told President Muhammadu Buhari that his five month honeymoon is over.
This was as he called on President Buhari to hit the ground running and fix the economy through revival of industry.
According to him, “With the best of marriage, 5 months honeymoon is more than enough. Having taken an oath in May as the 4th democratically elected President in this dispensation, the honeymoon for President Muhammadu Buhari is over with respect of revival of industry”.
Aremu who is also the General Secretary of National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria stated this in Kaduna while bagging a fellowship award of Association of Textile Technologists of Nigeria in Kaduna yesterday.
He said Buhari’s administration offers the last chance for Nigeria’s industrializtion and development and would be judged by how new industries are established in the country and how it protects the existing ones from total collapse.
“So far President Buhari has done well on halting criminal theft of commonwealth through corruption. EFCC and Code of Conduct Bureau in particular have been active enforcing accountability. Beyond these anti-corruption agencies, Nigeria will watch with keen interest the performance of the incoming Ministers of Power and Industry, transport, and agriculture.
“The incoming Ministers must hit the ground running and support the current administration to realize its three-point agenda namely anti-corruption, security and economy. President Muhammed Buhari in the next few months will be judged on account of how new industries are established in the country and how they protect the existing ones from total collapse.
“The importance of industry cannot be overemphasised. The key to real transformation and economic recovery lies in manufacturing. Oil and gas, and the new entrants; solid minerals are exhaustible resources.
“What Nigeria needs is to turn abundant raw materials into finished goods for the huge domestic market and export just as China, Singapore (countries without Oil and Gas) have done. The vision of the founding fathers of Nigeria was that of a producing economy that creates millions of decent jobs for the citizens not of a consumer of imported smuggled goods.
“Europe and America developed on the tripod of agriculture, construction and textile. Even after they have moved to high-tech industry, Europe and America still jealously hold on to their primary industries through protective measures of different dimensions because they are also central to employment creation and security.” He stressed.
On the way forward, The labour leader said the new Ministers must visit the closed and surviving factories and see internally abandoned factories, IAFs, adding that, Nigeria must urgently first reopen the existing closed factories. And this must start with direct factory visit.
“November 20th is Africa industrialisation Day as declared by United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO. It is a day to raise awareness about the need for Africa to produce what it consumes, through industrialization.