Emeka Okereke, Director-General, Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, has praised the initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which places restrictions on the importation of textile goods into the country.
Okereke said this in Abuja when the chamber officials visited the News Agency of Nigeria.
He said it was a good direction the Federal Government had taken to reposition the manufacturing sector but cautioned that it might encourage smuggling into the country.
According to him, the idea is to encourage local production but called on government to reposition the textile industries in the country.
He said: “It is a good step in the right direction but is our textile industry in a position to produce for our needs in the country in terms of fabrics and garments requirement.
“Do we just ban in order to promote local production and at the end encourage smuggling because we cannot satisfy the local market.
“For us, if we deny forex for importation, it is going to encourage us source locally but do we have the capacity to produce because when more people are involved in smuggling, it will affect the tariffs the nation will generate through port importation.”
Okereke said the private sector understood the intention of government but the intention must be appreciable to the measures it was taking.
He said the country banned the importation of rice but the product was still being imported into the country through the borders.
Okereke said the country was loosing lot of revenue due to illegal importation of rice.
He called on the government to continue to remove bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria.
“The government needs to do more on the challenges that affect doing business in Nigeria,” Okereke said.
He added that the country could not continue to import but must build the capacity of the producers to produce what would satisfy the local demand.
Okereke advised that the government should implement the strategies laid out on Ease of Doing Business by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council.