Organised Labour has pleaded with the Federal Government to devise a special arrangement to ensure that foreign exchange, forex, is made available to genuine manufacturers only, to enable them increase local production and stimulate the economy.
Addressing guests and members of its National Executive Council, NEC, yesterday in Lagos, President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, Dr Tommy Etim Okon, lamented that the current exchange rate is having adverse effects on the economy.
He stated: “The cost of essential items such as drugs, raw materials for industries, food items, spare parts, automobiles, etc, have continued to trigger inflation leading to the lowering of purchasing powers of millions of Nigerians.”
According to him, “The free fall of the Naira against the Dollar and the consequent rise in the cost of living has been a major concern for the citizens and Government must, therefore, take necessary measures to improve its fiscal policies to shore up the naira and check the consistent downward slide of the currency.
“Reports also indicate that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) unwittingly weakened the Naira in May 2021 when it adopted what it called Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Rate (NAFEX) of N410.25 to a dollar and removed the N379 per dollar rate that for months remained on its website. Since then, the Naira has continued its free fall against the dollar and experts warn that if this trend is allowed to subsist, the country’s economic fortunes may face further decline. It is against this background I call on the Government to ensure that forex is made available to genuine manufacturers only to enable them to increase local production of goods to stimulate businesses.
“The current exchange rate is certainly having adverse effects on the economy because the cost of essential items such as drugs, raw materials for industries, food items, spare parts, automobiles, among others, has continued to trigger inflation leading to the lowering of purchasing powers of millions of Nigerians. The Government needs to act fast to revamp the economy.”