Union Seeks Probe Of Automobile Industry
The Steel and Engineering Workers’ Union of Nigeria (SEWUN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the sale of automobile firms by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), carried out years ago.
They are asking for a review of the privatisation process, claiming that due process was not followed in the sale of the companies.
The National President of the Union, Elijah Adigun, in his address, at this year’s Annual Industrial Relations Conference in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, urged the Federal Government to set up a probe panel to look into the sale of automobile industries and to determine why the guidelines provided for in the Privatisation Act, to the effect that the controlling shares of these companies should be sold to core investors, was not followed in the sale of these companies by the BPE.
He insisted that for President Buhari to succeed with his agenda of creating jobs, he should take a second look at the privatisation by BPE, as no company privatised in the iron and steel industrial group is doing well.
“For instance, Anammco Limited, National Truck, Steyr Nigeria Limited, Leyland Nigeria Limited are companies sold to auto traders instead of core investors who have knowledge, expertise and skills of vehicle manufacturing.
The labour leader noted that before the privatisation of the auto plants, they had a combined workforce of nearly 7,000 compared to about 300 workers they now have, cumulatively.
“It will interest you to know that before the privatisation of these auto plants, they had a combined workforce of nearly 7,000 compared with about 300 workers they have now,” he stated.
“Clearly, the figure here is an indication that the privatisation of these companies has brought economic woes and wastages to the country, rather than the blessing envisaged by the Federal Government. Even salaries are hardly paid to their workers,” he said.
He called on the government to grow the economy by exploiting other natural resources to create wealth and generate employment, adding that government needs to look at other areas apart from oil sector.
The General Secretary of the union, Michael Ogbolu, in his paper, said the theme of the conference, “Survival strategies in an unfriendly environment-the Nigeria experience”, was quite appropriate, given that corruption has brought Nigeria to its knees.
Source: Daily Times, Nigeria