The Nigeria Labour Congress has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against signing the Continental Free Trade Agreement allegedy being pushed by the Ministry of Trade and Investment and some people in the country.
According to the union, the President would be made to sign the document on 21st of March, 2018, in Kigali.
But NLC, in a release by its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said the agreement, rather than unite the continent would lead to a greater division among African countries.
The labour movement asserted that the ‘neo-liberal document’ would open Nigeria’s ports to free movement and interference from fellow African countries.
President Muhammadu Buhari
NLC further posited that those involved in the act are trying to use the President to pursue an ulterior motive which would contribute to enriching few at the expense of millions of Nigerians.
NLC also also noted that in preparation of the trade agreement, relevant business stakeholders were not consulted, another indication that it was meant to create and divert wealth to the pocket of the corrupt citizens.
“There is a renewed, extremely dangerous and radioactive neo-liberal policy initiative being driven by the Ministry of Trade and Investment that seeks to open our seaports, airports and other businesses to unbridled foreign interference never before witnessed in the history of the country.
“The drivers of this policy initiative, without consulting the relevant stakeholders for possible impact assessment, have perfected a document for the signature of President Muhammadu Buhari at Kigali on the 21 of March. We at the Nigeria Labour Congress are shocked by the sheer impunity or blatant lack of consultation in the process that has led to this,” Ayuba asserted.
Highlighting how the agreement, if signed by the president would jeopardise the economy, NLC asserted that due to its nature, it will lead to foreigners taking over local jobs and death of local companies.
“We are more worried by the probable outcome of this policy initiative if it is given life because of its crippling effect on the local businesses and attendant effects on jobs. We have no doubt this policy initiative will spell the death knell of the Nigerian economy.”
“We find it confounding that at a time nations are resorting to protectionism in defence of their local businesses and protection of jobs, we have the audacity to want to fling open our doors, windows and rooftops.”
NLC therefore urged Buhari not to consent or sign the continental trade agreement because it comes with a burden that would increase hunger for Nigerians, debt hangover for the government, social strife and wars and make the nation more dependent on fellow African countries.