FILE PHOTO: Seme border shut. A workers union says the closure is threatening the jobs of members

Workers under the aegis of the The National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE) may soon lose their jobs as the effect of the closure of Nigeria’s border with neighbours hit hard.

President of the union, Goke Olatunji told newsmen on Saturday that the border closure, since August, is threatening the jobs of its members.

In an interview last year, Olatunji had lamented the decreasing number of members of the union, from a height of 40,000 to 20,000, most of them lost to the economic crisis hitting industries under the purview of the union.

The union would be further emasculated with the border closure policy.

Olatunji told journalists that chemical companies that could no longer export goods to neighbouring countries are threatening to downsize their workers as unsold goods are mounting in the warehouses.

”Some of the member companies are already lamenting over the poor sale, because their products cannot be exported to neighbouring countries,” the union president said.

He urged the government to put in place effective monitoring and control measures at the border to curb illicit importation and exportation of outlawed commodities.

Olatunji said that government’s closure of the land borders without considering locally-produced products meant to be exported to neighbouring countries should be reviewed.

“Nigeria’s economy cannot be better because of the land border closure. By closing land borders, some other sectors of the economy are suffering.

”If the options are weighed, it is for us to open the border while putting in place efficient and effective monitoring and controlling measures to curb prohibited commodities,” he said.

The NUCFRLANMPE president said that laying off of more workers would further impoverish the people, increase insecurity and cause decline of membership.

He said that for the economy to become better, there was the need to return to the basics such as mining, agriculture and manufacturing as these sectors needed serious attention.

“It is high time we adopted strategy instead of exporting our commodities and resources in their raw forms.

“The monolithic nature of the economy for years has paved way for backwardness; petroleum is not enough. We urgently need diversification of the economy for better growth and development,” he said.

The union leader further called for improved infrastructure such as good roads, effective power supply and adequate medical facilities that would cater for the upsurge in the population.

He advised the government to tackle the rising unemployment to help solve the issue of insecurity in the country.