By Ahmed Rahma
The second slip of Nigeria into a recession in over four years has been described as a huge blow on the Nigerian workers, who are still struggling with the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
But in order to quicken the lifting of the poor out of crushing weight of the consequences of the economic crisis, the federal government must embark on aggressive relief programmes.
These are the views of the vice chairperson of the National Women Commission (NWC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ms Hadiza Ali.
On Saturday, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released a report which said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country declined in the third quarter of this year as oil production dropped to a four-year low.
In the report signed by the Statistician-General, Mr Yemi Kale, the country’s economy shrank by 3.6 per cent from July to September, noting that it was the second successive decline in the GDP as in the second quarter of 2020, it contracted by 6.1 per cent, indicating a recession.
“It is really sad that Nigeria’s economy has gone into recession coupled with hardship brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down that has brutally become sad tale of workers, middle income and low income earners,” the labour union leader said.
“As it is, the effect and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked untold havoc on the Nigerian workers and now with the economy plunging into recession means a double blow on the Nigerian workers.
“The impact of the recession on the Nigerian workers is that there will not be enough money in their pockets, especially with the effect of the removal oil subsidy, which has resulted in the increase of the pump price of fuel and has caused the escalation of costs of transportation, food commodities and other means of livelihood,” Ms Ali stated.
She said an increase in the rate of inflation will take out more money from the pockets of worker in meeting up with basic expenditure; cost of running businesses, production and services.
Ms Ali also stated that women empowerment will suffer a serious blow and set back, especially those in the informal sector, who run small businesses and rely on daily income.
“And for the likes of food vendors and others, the recession may affect their businesses due to the cost of inflation because the price of food stuff and other items will be extremely high and they may find it difficult to continue in business, which means they will not contribute to the GDP,” the comrade, who is also a lawyer, said.
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