From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
The Federal Government has lost over N5 trillion to open – ended import duty waivers granted to companies and manufacturers engaged in various forms of importation over the years
The Minister of State for Budget and Economic Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba disclosed this in Kano on Friday during an official visit to NUTRI K, a Dangote subsidiary engaged in the production of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food in the state
He explained that Government only recently discovered that many companies who were granted such waivers had no time line in which they were to revert to the payment of the requisite duty,.
He said that in some cases, some of these companies would introduce additional import products which were not captured in the initial government waiver without the consent of the government.
He disclosed that already his ministry has taken up the matter with the legislators with a view to working out modalities for import waivers to be bounded by a time sufficient for the start up c manufacturer to find its feat in the market place
Addressing the management of the company , he said government would look into their challenges by a way of policies that would support their import ambition but added that the intervention would be for a specific time line.
He assured that government was committed to reducing the cost of production of local manufacturers in line with its stand to promote their growth in the overall interest of the economy.
He however charged the company to look inwards and be less import dependent as excessive importation was responsible for weakening of the strength of the Naira against the Dollar.
In his address the Managing Director of the company, Abudulkadir Yowe explained that apart from groundnut or which they have an understanding with some out-growers from Kebbi State, they import the rest of the raw materials from outside Nigeria.
He added that they are also affected by the cost of energy in Nigeria ,all of which add up to make the prices they sell less competitive in the global market.
He appealed to the Federal Government to assist them in order to be able to beat down their selling price.