The National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) have charged the Federal Government to upgrade the standard of local products.
Speaking at the NEC meeting, the National President, Comrade Lateef Oyelekan, said the government must prevail upon the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and NAFDAC to gear up towards ensuring the upgrade of the standard of local and imported goods, in accordance with international standards.
The union, which commended the continued closure of land borders, noted that Nigeria has the capacity to produce food, beverages, wines and other items.
Oyelekan lamented that Nigeria has turned a dumping ground for foreign products, but reasoned that it could be discouraged through upgrading standards, and proper monitoring of borders.
He said members of the union would continue to support the border closure which, he said, has curbed smugglers, who specialised in beverages, wines, spirits, rice, petroleum products, arms and ammunition.
He noted that the government’s policy on backward integration has started yielding positive results as there are companies producing tomato paste using 100 per cent local raw materials.
“As we have often said, Nigeria has no reason to import finished food products, as our companies have the capacity to support the local needs. The tomato factory in Adamawa State provides jobs for over 3,000 workers. That is the advantage of supporting local production,” he said.
Oyelekan stated that the union was delighted that the Federal Government could reinstate the forex windows to the producers of dairy and confectionery products, which he said, was in response to the union’s massive campaigns against the misdirected policy of the government.
The union, however, expressed dissatisfaction on the un-abating insecurity bedevilling the country, despite huge human and financial resources reported to have been deployed by the government in tackling the national menace.
“We implore the Federal Government to review and change their strategies in tackling the prevalent scourge of hydra headed insecurity monster across the country,” the president stated.
Similarly, the union urged Federal Government to redouble its efforts in ensuring a steady electric power supply across the country, stating that this would attract employment opportunities for Nigerians.
The persistent influx of expatriates into the country despite the promulgation of the Executive Order “5” by the Federal Government was also considered as a minus to the efforts of government. He called for strict monitoring to ensure total adherence and respect to that important executive order.