Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in Ekiti State has faulted the total ban on the importation of rice and some other food items into the country, saying certain steps are necessary to prevent famine and hunger in the country.
NLC state chairman, Comrade Ade Adesanmi, consequently urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to lift the ban immediately and set a time limit to give room for cultivation of enough rice and the other food items in the country.
NLC, in a statement in Ekiti State Tuesday, also advised Buhari to take critical actions, including effecting meaningful changes in his economic team for his change agenda to have positive impacts on the lives of Nigerians.
The NLC, which said the action was necessary to ensure the much touted change mantra did not end up as a mere slogan without productive effects, said: “What Buhari promised Nigerians before the 2015 presidential poll was life full of abundance for citizens and not the hardship being witnessed by the populace at present.”
Although the NLC praised the administration for ensuring security and peace, it said: “But the issue of the receding economy as shown in the skyrocketing prices of goods and services and callous losses of jobs by Nigerians is worrisome.
“President Buhari did not promise that a bag of rice which was sold for N9,000 will be sold for N40,000. He didn’t promise that a bag of cement which was sold for N1,500 will be sold for N2,500 within one year he assumed office. He didn’t promise that a litre of petrol which was N87 will be jerked up to N145, among other food items which prices have jumped up four folds.
“The All Progressives Congress, APC-led Federal Government must look beyond its party to solving our economic problems. We suggest that President Buhari rejig his economic team. He must make changes before things get out of hands.
“As much as we align with the idea of relying on Nigerian products to grow our economy, we disagree with the idea of the total ban placed on some food items to allow internal production of such commodities.
“Of particular reference, the Federal Government should lift ban placed on rice importation and set a minimum of three years to allow for internal production of rice before effecting the ban. This, I think, will be the best way for Nigeria to get out of the famine ravaging the land.”