The hardship in the land is getting more intense as about 3,000 steel workers have lost their jobs in the last quarter of 2015.
*Ptuneo used for illustrative purpose*
The National Union of Iron and Steel Workers on Wednesday said 3,000 of its members lost their jobs in the last quarter of 2015 following closure of steel companies.
Mr Kasimu Kadiri, General Secretary of the union told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the current economic recession had increased the number of unemployed people.
Kadiri was reacting to plans to shut the biggest pipe factory, SCC Nigeria Limited, due to the economic recession. The pipe factory inaugurated a 280,000- ton ultra modern steel pipe manufacturing in Oct, 2015 in Ushafa, Abuja. However, after several months of staying idle, the government announced plan to close it due to low patronage.
The union leader said continuous closure of steel companies had negatively affected the steel sector, especially its workers. He appealed to the government to stop importation of finished steel products to allow local production thrive.
“Government should also create an enabling environment for local producers to grow to reduce the number of unemployed people.
“We are equally appealing to the government to revisit the Ajaokuta agreement and restructure it to absorb people in the labour market,” he said.
Kadiri explained that the 7th Senate cancelled the agreement with Global Infrastructure on Ajaokuta Steel which later opted for litigation. He said the federal government should take advantage of the recent directive of the court that parties used alternative means to settle the matter.