Comrade Jimoh Oyibo
The backward integration of the Federal government for manufacturers to source raw materials locally through establishment of farms though beautiful, will not succeed due to high insecurity accross the country, so says the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB)
Speaking in Lagos, with members of the Labour Writers Association of Nigeria, (LAWAN) the National President of the Food Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association, Comrade Jimoh Oyibo, said many companies who had keyed into the program setting up farms are having challenges of harvesting their products due to insecurity in the land as a result of bandits attack, kidnapping and Boko Haram.
Comrade Oyibo said though the program is capable of stimulating economic development and help reduce relying on importation of raw materials, but it could die natural death due to insecurity.
He said manufacturers’ hope could be dashed making them to continue to rely on importation of raw materials.
The FOBTOB President who was recently elected to office said though the food and beverage sector is the life of the nation, yet it’s facing many challenges which if not addressed could lead to it’s death.
Chiefly, he mentioned the increase rate of expartiates competing in jobs that could be conveniently handled by Nigerians; difficulty in sourcing foreign exchange, and bottlenecks in clearing of goods from Apapa Port.
He said most times it takes months to clear goods from Apapa Port thereby incuring demurrages due to unnecessary bureaucracy and gridlock of traffic. Comrade Oyibo called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency in Apapa, and reconstruct the entire port area.
The FOBTOB President also called on the government to decentralise and divert importation to other ports in the country.
Speaking on sourcing of forex, as it affects the sector, he said it was unthinkable that manufacturers could not easily source foreign exchange while those who have nothing to do with manufacturing are in possession of forex.
Comrade Oyibo called on the government to stop the plan to raise excise duty on non- alcoholic drinks, as many of them are suffocating. On the issue of influx of expartiates in the sector, he said many of them should not be in the country as they are doing the jobs that could be handled by Nigerians. He called on the government to apply it’s big stick and send packing expartiates that should not be in the country
Comrade Oyibo also vowed that his administration would not tolerate any company in the food and beverage sector that breaches labour laws as concern members, promising to see to the overall welfare of members in the sector.