Joy Umukoro, Lagos
The Federal Government has been urged to create an enabling business environment for local industries to thrive by creating polices that will address foreign importation of locally-made footwear into the country.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Indigenous Manufacturers of Footwear Association, Chijioke Obiora, at the swearing-in and inauguration of the new executives at Trade Fair market in Lagos over the weekend.
He advised government to institute policies that would allow Nigerians embrace and push for the implementation of the Local Content Policy of government in locally-manufactured goods in country.
He said that the policy will enhance national security, job creation and foreign exchange savings.
The chairman urged gvernment to ban importation of all goods that Nigerians have the capacity to produce locally.
He added that government should discourage the importation of foreign goods because “Nigeria has no business importing those goods which do not measure to the quality being produced in the country.”
He said that government should commend Nigerians for doing the country proud through the spirit of enterprise and innovation demonstrated in quality products and goods made available through local skills.
According to Obiora, there is a huge deficit in footwear production, as Nigeria depends so much on Chinese products.
He said that support for local manufacturers of footwear would aid job creation for the teeming masses of unemployed youths.
“About 92 percent of Nigerian youths are footwear dealers and we want to use this opportunity to empower them to become local manufacturers in the country,” Obiora explained.
“The only problem is of corruption and foreign importation. I promise to be transparent and provide servant leadership to all members of this association.”
Electoral Committee Chairman Mr Nnadi Benedict Ogonna said the new executives are equal to the task as they would uplift the image of the association to greater heights.
According to him, the association recorded over 600 members who came out to cast their votes at the election, as 13 members contested for 20 different offices. While 558 members voted for the new chairman, despite standing unopposed.
“I think it’s because of the calibre of his person and the confidence reposed in him, they believe he can deliver on his promises,” Ogonna said.
Corroborating him, the Interim Chairman urged the new chairman to make sure the association lives up to expectations by abiding to its constitution and making sure that the image of the association is not tarnished.