Over 40,000 jobs lost in construction
NO fewer than 40,000 jobs may have been lost in the construction industry in the last one year due to failure by the government to pay for jobs done, the National Union of Civil Engineering, Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW) has said.
Its General Secretary, Mr. Babatunde Liadi, warned that if steps were not taken by stakeholders, things might get worse next year.
He said: “In the last one year, a lot has happened in the labour movement and, most especially, in my union. The major challenge is the non-payment of our employers by government for jobs already done. This has been making them to declare our members redundant and putting some of them on redundancy.
“We call on the government to do more and pay for the jobs done since development can be seen by the level of construction and infrastructural development going on in the country. We are involved in most of the construction and infrastructure development in the country.’’
He urged the government to pay more attention to the sector, especially by promptly paying for jobs done. He decried the level of insecurity in the country, adding that his members were worst hit as no construction could be done in an atmosphere of insecurity.
He lamented: “We have been adversely affected by the insecurity in the country, leading to job losses among others. In fact, insecurity is really serious. If you look at it, you cannot find any meaningful construction work going on in the Northeast (part) of the country.
“It is not just construction, but every other facet of human endeavour. Most of the companies have withdrawn their workers and in most cases, these workers are laid off. In our case, both foreign and local employees have been withdrawn,”
He said this was a big minus for the economy and also for the workers that were displaced because if the jobs were not there, they would be paid.
“In our industry, it is only when the job is there that you are engaged, when the work is not there, you are fired. So, it is a great pain in the neck of our union because as a union we are losing revenue since we do not have members in those states. It is a national problem that must be addressed by all well meaning Nigerians,” he said.
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