…To discuss ways of ending dumping of Chinese products
By Charles Nwaoguji
THE Organised Private Sector (OPS) has descried the influx of foreign products into Nigeria, mostly from China, as a threat to locally made goods.
In separate interviews with Daily Sun over the weekend, stakeholders said it has become imperative to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to a dialogue on the issue.
They stated that the government can actually model its quest for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) after the Asian Tigers and the BRICS nations who insist that foreign companies coming to invest in their countries must partner with indigenous industries that are already engaged in similar businesses, except they are coming into the country with something new. “So, it is either you collaborate with the existing one, expand the business, bring in your new ideas or you are not given any license or permit to bring in your investments.”
The Director General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf, said that Nigeria’s manufacturing industry has long been neglected by the government. He queried: “Why must government and Nigerians look for foreign made goods when there are local substitutes? Take fabrics like lace, for instance. Will anyone die if they don’t wear lace? No, because there are other materials that we can use from our textile industries and then over time the people will start producing lace for people to wear; that is exactly what I’m saying because if the government allows people to bring in things simply because it is nice, are we not investing more in luxury items than in local industries?”
He stated that, “what we have seen over the years is that our banks preferentially finance importers of these foreign made goods rather than our own indigenous industries, producing similar items. This must be stopped if government wants our local industries to flourish and grow.” But the Chairman, Toiletries and Cosmetics Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr. Ikpong Umoh, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s government should create time to listen to the real sector, which are the manufacturers and stop sending representatives.
Umoh noted that it is good to send people but that the president seriously needs to listen and really get down to know the real problem, saying sometimes most people think it’s all about money; it’s not the money but simple things like strategy are critical.
He noted if this government can remove multiple taxation and barriers to movement of goods from one point to the other as well as stop harassing those who are genuinely creating wealth and employment the manufacturing sector will develop.