…Says it’s killing business in the sector
The National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE) has tasked the Federal Government to curb the indiscriminate importation of goods that are presently manufactured in Nigeria. This is even as it said the practise was killing business in the industrial sector of the economy.
The national president of the union, Babatunde Olatunji, said that even though government has put in place policies that are supposed to stop or discourage importation, the major challenge was implementation.
He added that most agencies that were supposed to carry out the implementation of such policies were compromised.
Olatunji demanded that the federal government should muster the will to ban the importation of all the products that Nigeria has the comparative advantage of producing locally if ongoing efforts to resuscitate the economy were to be realised.
He said, “Importation will kill Nigeria’s economy unless we kill it. I, therefore, call on the government to ban the importation of all the products and instead support genuine indigenous manufacturers with new credit lines at low interest rate and forex on the spot with a target to export. We can do it.
“It is indeed very sad for me that, despite the efforts being made by President Muhammadu Buhari to ease the processes of doing business in the country, local manufacturers are still going through so much difficulties. In fact, it appears as if some of the regulatory agencies are working to sabotage the good intentions of President Buhari.
“The pains local manufacturers go through these days to source for foreign exchange through the Central Bank of Nigeria are so discouraging. Some manufacturers regret doing business in Nigeria because of the operating environment. The Federal Government may not know that most indigenous manufacturers are being frustrated. For instance, the present forex allocation mechanism has been too expensive and costly to all genuine indigenous manufacturers.”
Olatunji decried the poor state of infrastructure in the country, saying it was negatively affecting the standard of living of Nigerians.
He added that unavailability of infrastructure had negative implications on the standard of living of most Nigerians.
“An average Nigerian presently is a government of his own. There is need for the government to provide all social amenities required to enhance the welfare of the citizenry,” he said.
Olatunji called on the government to ensure that power was generated and distributed to enhance industrialisation of the country, stressing, “Power is the basis for meaningful industrialisation. Any dependence on fuel-driven generation will mean overhead cost for manufacturers who will sell the final goods at high price.”