Sometime in the month of June 1983, Vice President, Alex Ekuweme, during one of his campaign rallies, was reported as saying that the austerity measures his government clamped down on the country, is the best thing to have happened to Nigeria.
Indeed, it certainly is, for his class of robbers and bandits, as well as the various foreign-owned banks and companies that steal the labour-power of Nigerian workers and the natural resources of our country. The various newspapers have been publishing in recent times, the declared reports of some of these companies. Let us therefore examine these results in order to see who benefits from the austerity:
United Bank for Africa(UBA) Ltd.
Annual (declared) report, for year ended:
31st MARCH 1983-Profits before taxation: N55,969m
31stMARCH 1982-N52, 410m
1983 Net profit after taxation- N15, 683m
1982 Net profit after taxation -N26, 602m
Union Bank of Nigeria Ltd.
Unedited result for the half year ended 31st March 1983:
6 months ended 31stMar. ’83/ Profit B.Tax-N28,515m.
Profit After Tax: N15, 683m
6 months ended 31st Mar. ‘82/Profit B.Tax-N29,300m
Profit After Tax: N16, 115 m
The tradition is for all these foreign-owned banks to make very huge profits. These profits are then (repatriated) overseas into the imperialist countries of Europe and America.
Here now is a list of reports of some companies:
1.METAL BOX (NIG.) LID. Result for year ended 31st March 1983:
Profit B/ tax: N6, 945, 473m
Profit A/tax: #4,121,991m
TEXACO (NIG.)LTD. Result for year ended 31st Dec. 1982.
- FOOD SPECIALITIES (NIG.)LID. Result for year ended 31st Dec 1982.
N243, 184; 193m
Trading profit N15,217,914m
Profit A/tax; N7, 581, 776m
N4, 288, 179m
BOOTS COMPANY (NIG. )LTD
“Figures for the year released (1982) showed that the company’s recovery was super strong in the year of NIGERIA’S DOWNTURN!!!
“Sales in the year (ended 31st Dec. 1982) closed at N9, 774m from 1981’s N7, 501m, but from this, the company reported N228,287 as profit before tax,as against N10,750 achieved in 1981. With reserved glee then, the Directors declared: ‘In the opinion of Directors, the company has made satisfactory progress from the 1981 position. The company is now in a healthy financial state”.
-FINANCIAL PUNCH, JUNE 22 1983.
– GUINNESS (NIG. )LTD:
“According to figures for the half-year to 28th Feb. 1983, turnover is running 27.9% UP, while profit before taxation has jumped 61.97% on 1982 first half-year levels. Consequently, half year profit margin is
20.1% as against 15.9% recorded in the 1982 first half. “Turnover closed Feb. 1983 at N108.2m as against N84.6m in the corresponding period last year while profit before taxation stood at N21.8m as against N13.6m. – FINANCIAL PUNCH, JUNE 22, 1983
From all that we have seen, it is clear that every one of these capitalist institutions, from the banks, and the oil companies, to the food and beverages makers, are declaring to the world, that for them, “austerity” has meant more and more profits,i. e. the unpaid labour-power of Nigerian workers.
It is therefore clear, that when Alex Ekuweme and others like him, say that austerity is good for Nigeria, they know what they are talking about. This is because their foreign masters
have it so rosy, stealing wealth produced by workers, while they (Ekweme&co) are increasing their own share of the loot. Simple.
But for the mass of Nigerian people, especially the workers who create all this wealth that is regularly declared the profits of manufacturers and employers of labour, what is our gain? This, too is simple. We are gaining in poverty, exploitation, and lack of basic rights(such as the right to decent housing, healthcare, education, and a job);as well as unemployment.
As we have been reporting regularly, hundreds of thousands of workers have been and are being retrenched in Nigeria. To illustrate, here is the list of the members of the National Union of Chemical and Non-metallic Products workers, that have been retrenched in recent times.
- Turners Building Products, Kaduna- 225 workers
- Turners Building Products, Enugu- 250 workers
- West African Portland Cement (The company made a profit-after-tax of N37m, 1982) 400 workers
- Prestest Limited, Abeokuta -128 workers
- United Match Co, Ilorin, 57 workers
- Ivory Products Ltd. Abeokuta-128
- Metropolitan Industry Ltd. Ilupeju-33
- Major&co./Nigeria Chemical Services, Lagos-73 workers
- S&K Asbestos, Sango-124 workers
- Arewa Plastic Ltd. Kano- 37 workers
- Nigerite Limited, Ikeja-44 workers
- Poly Products Ltd.Onitsha-36 workers
- Olympic Plastics Ltd.Aba-10 workers
- General Plastics. Ltd. Port Hacourt-68 workers
- Ace Toys&Plastic Ltd. Port Harcourt-52 workers
- Metal &Plastic Ind.Ltd. Port Hacourt-56 workers
- Exel Plastic Ltd. Calabar-101 workers
- Asbestonit Ltd. Oron- 18 workers
- Elson Ni g. Ltd, Kaduna-100 workers
- Gombe Oil Mills-93 workers
So a comparison can be made: On the one hand, the foreign companies, and their Nigerian agents and running dogs have REALLY benefitted from the ‘austerity’, so they can afford to say so as Alex. Ekweme was reported (to have stated).
On the other hand, workers, working people, and all the poor of Nigeria, have never had it so bad as we (have), today. The pigs, who rule in our country today are really getting fatter. Workers must begin the preparations to overturn the situation now.