Save Nigeria’s Economy From Naira Devaluation, NLC Charges FG

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has demanded that the Federal Government take action to stop the nation’s currency from continuously plunging and prevent the populace and economy from becoming even more impoverished.

According to the NLC, if result-oriented measures are not taken quickly, workers will be compelled to take legal action against the government.

The NLC made this known in a statement by its president, Mr Joe Ajaero on Tuesday.

NLC president

The NLC also scolds public officials who purchase foreign-based products rather than finding a long-term interest in using locally-made products.

Mr Joe also emphasised that the naira needs to be protected, particularly amid the turbulent fall of the Nigerian currency, which causes indescribable hardship for many Nigerians.

In detail, the statement reads, “The NLC expresses grave concern over the rapid and unprecedented devaluation of the Nigerian naira against major world currencies, particularly the United States dollar.

“This alarming trend, if left unchecked, threatens to unleash a wave of devastating consequences on the Nigerian economy and its citizens”.

“As a nation heavily reliant on imports, Nigeria is particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of a weakened currency. The NLC wishes to emphasize that the repercussions of this crisis will be felt acutely by workers and the masses, leading to an unbearable surge in inflation rates. The potential chaos and suffering that may ensue from such a scenario are, quite frankly, unimaginable.

“We are highly pained at the actions of many Nigerians, especially public officials, whose policies and actions ought to be unwaveringly patriotic and on the side of the economy and the people but who have sadly chosen to do otherwise. It is said that a dog does not eat the bone hung on its neck, but our leaders have consistently devoured theirs to the detriment of the nation and in total breach of public trust and confidence.

“The unrestrained taste of our public officials for products manufactured outside the shores of Nigeria is grossly unpatriotic and lays our economy prostrate and our nation tottering on the brink of disaster.

“This penchant is one of the most contributory factors to the apparent high coefficient of imports, which has had devastating effects on the value of the naira. It is unhealthy for public officials in various capacities to reward themselves with tools that are imported from outside our shores.”

Nigeria is fortunately currently blessed with local producers in certain sectors whose brands meet international standards and can, therefore, meet the demands of certain products for the public service in the country.

“We are, therefore, surprised that rather than patronize these brands, our public officials insist on the use of foreign products, yet we want the value of the naira to remain robust in the foreign exchange market. The simple maxim is that you cannot eat your cake and have it. Either we put our food where our mouth is or we end up destroying our economy with our own hands.

“These actions of our public officials de-market the naira and are one of the most dangerous factors, sounding the death knell on the local currency. We, therefore, call on all Nigerian public officials to be more patriotic in their choices and favor locally manufactured goods. The positive multipliers created by patronizing locally manufactured goods are huge and are capable of jumpstarting the critical sectors of the nation’s economy, but our refusal to do that has left the naira wobbling and teary.

“Every money spent on buying foreign-made goods creates jobs outside the country to the detriment of our labor market and puts pressure on the naira. However, every amount spent on purchasing locally manufactured goods creates jobs in Nigeria, thus increasing employment, elevating income, reducing poverty, and much more reducing the pressure on the naira as it encourages local manufacturers to increase production, raise their standards, and create better chances for export.

“The NLC hereby calls upon the custodians of our economy to recognize the gravity of the situation and take immediate and decisive action to halt this uncontrolled depreciation of the naira. We implore the monetary authorities to implement effective measures to safeguard the naira, stabilize the economy, and secure the future of our beloved nation.

“All nations of the world take pride in protecting their domestic currencies from all manners of threats, but the reverse seems to be the case in Nigeria. Why a country with a high import coefficient and less than one elasticity of exports would allow its local currency to be at the mercy of the vagaries of the so-called market forces leaves us surprised and deeply worried.


“This is despite all the wise counsel warning against the consequences of such actions. It is only an economy with a vibrant and robust domestic manufacturing capacity that is export-oriented that will respond quickly and effectively to a free-falling local currency, not one like ours that is steeply bogged down by supply inertia and unable to meet domestic demands competitively, talk less of responding positively and taking advantage of the falling naira.

“We need to deliberately protect the naira by buying locally manufactured goods, especially those used by public office holders. We still remember when the Peugeot and VW brands were used as official vehicles in the public sector, and that made a lot of sense. We insist that we return to the idea of using only locally made vehicles for public officials in Nigeria. Any person in public office whose taste has become exogenously determined should satisfy that through his purse and not the public treasury.

“In the absence of swift and tangible interventions, the NLC may find itself compelled to take appropriate steps to compel the relevant authorities to prioritize the rescue of the naira, the economy, and ultimately, the entire nation.

“We stand ready to engage constructively with all stakeholders in pursuit of a lasting solution to this pressing issue. Together, we can and must ensure the stability and prosperity of our great nation. The naira must be saved if we are to make progress.”