The Federal Government has been advised to adopt policy framework that
will lead to the restriction of importation of goods such galvanized
roofing sheets and other steel products that are abundantly produced
in Nigeria to further boost the nation’s economy.

With the land border closure, it is evident that agricultural sector
of the Nigerian economy has improved, therefore, it is a tested
hypothesis that if adequate attention is given to the seaports
operations, smuggling will be tackled and the steel sector will be
saved from collapse.

The Galvanized Iron and Steel Manufacturers’ Association, (GISMA) in a
statement signed by its Spokesperson, Mr. Lateef Bello, on Wednesday
noted that the boarder closure has brought more economic benefits to
the nation.

GISMA noted that the revenue declared by the authority of Nigeria
Customs Service, (NSC) is commendable stressing that more can still be
achieved through holistic approach to the ongoing smuggling of roofing
sheets and other steel products.

According to the statement, “For President Muhammadu Buhari to
actualize the many targets as contained in the 2020 appropriation bill
presented before the joint session of National Assembly, there is need
to place absolute restriction on items made in Nigeria. At the moment,
it is saddened to note that smuggled roofing sheets of low standards
have flooded Nigerian markets at the detriment of local manufacturers
and unsuspecting consumers.

“Going by the experience of some emerging economies in the world such
as Malaysia and Singapore, no items produced in these two countries
are allowed to be imported and the restriction policy has accelerated
their Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) as well as their security
techniques.

“It is important to take comparative advantage of this policy to
further relief Nigerians of the sufferings and unemployment persisting
in the nation. Iron and Steel industry if well protected, is capable
of generating an average of 20,000 jobs yearly with significant
turnover on the Internally Generated Revenue for the government.”

The group however appealed to President Buhari to take bold steps
towards salvaging the economic interest of local manufacturers as well
as curbing insecurity which has ravaged some states in the North-East.
This was part of our public outcries during a peaceful protest held
recently in Kaduna; we thank Mr. President for heeding to our plights.

“In as much as we want to encourage President Muhammadu Buhari to beef
up more surveillance on Nigerian Boarder Control System, it is
pertinent for the federal government and other relevant agencies to
ensure that importation of goods are carried out through Premier Ports
with full documentations and follow-ups”, he added.

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