By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-East, Nigeria – The Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) has said there is an urgent need for a new bargain to review strategies and rescue the situation through decent working agenda at all levels because of the post Covid-19 effects on the economy.
State Chairperson of the Congress, Comrade Ayuba Suleiman, stated this during the marking of 13th World Day for Decent Work in Kaduna on October 7, 2020.
He said Nigeria’s economy is facing collapse as it largely depends on oil exports; saying the oil markets have been on a down trend as Covid-19 has crippled demand.
According to him, fuel prices fell and recorded 18-year low trading at less than 22 Dollars per barrel and expected to go lower.
“Nigeria’s economy contracted by 6.1 per cent year on year in the second quarter of this year, latest reports from Nigeria’s statistics bureau show. The dip follows thirteen quarters of positive but low growth rates. The -6.1 per cent decline is also Nigeria’s steepest in the last 10 years.
“As with most other countries around the world, the sharp drop in Nigeria’s GDP growth is largely down to the slowdown in economic activity after the country resorted to a lockdown back in April to curb the spread of the virus.
“In the wake of the pandemic the World Bank forecast a decline of -3.2 per cent for 2020 – a five percentage point drop from its previous projections.
“The stories are the same in Kaduna State, the almost five months lockdown strangulated small and medium businesses, some companies and business establishment were closed down, also, the popular Sheikh Abubakar Gumi Market was shut down leaving traders with huge loss due to expired and damage commodities in their shops.
“Amidst the Covid-19 lockdown, the State Government unilaterally deducted 25 per cent of its workers’ salaries for two consecutive months; important markets were demolished for ambitious expansion and modernization, living good number of traders without sources of livelihood, thus worsening the situation as authorities’ intervention were either insufficient or not forthcoming,” he said.
Speaking on the topic: “The Need for New Social Contract for Recovery and Resilience Through Decent Work Agenda”
Comrade Suleiman, said workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies.
He added that the choices made today will directly affect the way this crisis unfolds and so the lives of billions of people.
“With the right measures we can limit its impact and scars it leaves,” Suleiman said.