A labour union, the National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees, NUCFRLANMPE, has warned that no fewer than 25,000 workers could lose their jobs in the chemical and non-metallic sector of the nation’s economy as a result of the ban on importation and production of codeine and tramadol by the Federal Government.
While advocating regulation of production, importation, sales of the syrup instead of outright ban, the union stated that employers have already made plans to downsize workers because of the prohibition of the product.
President of NUCFRLANMPE, Mr. Babatunde Olajunji, who addressed newsmen on the sideline of the ongoing 27th annual industrial relations seminar holding in Ado-Ekiti, said: “We are pleading with the Federal Government to reconsider the outright ban on production and importation of codeine and tramadol, because of the negative consequences on our sector.
“The nation cannot afford to go ahead with a policy that has the potential to throw over 25,000 workers into the saturated labour market.
“The implications maybe too grave to contend with, especially because of army of jobless and able-bodied youths and men who may become tools ahead of the 2019 elections.
“All we are pleading is for government to monitor their usage for medical reasons, while law enforcement agencies and other regulatory authorities regulate their production, importation as well as usage and deal with those who abuse their uses, including those who sell them to unauthorised users.”
Earlier in an address of welcome, Olajunji lamented “the outright ban without considering its implications on the health of genuine users, who need them for the treatment of mild and severe pains arising from bone complications among others, should be of concern to the government.
“We believe that the best solution would have been to outlaw its sales over the counter and ensure strict compliance by the appropriate law enforcement and regulatory agencies,” the union leader said.