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Pencil producer urges MDAs, Nigerians to encourage local manufacturers  

Pencil producer urges MDAs, Nigerians to encourage local manufacturers

 

By Yusuf Yunus

A pencil producer, Mr Muideen Ibrahim, says the reluctance of government bodies and Nigerians to embrace locally produced goods poses a challenge to the development of indigenous industries.

Ibrahim, the Chief Executive Officer of BAMIB Resources & Investments Company Ltd.,said this in an interview with the Business Intelligence (TBI Africa) on Thursday in Lagos.

He said that the preference for foreign products still persists among Nigerians in spite of the Federal Government’s interest, gestures and commitment to develop local manufacturers.

lt would be recalled that the federal government has expressed interest and efforts to promote local content through initiatives like Executive Order 003 and Executive Order 005.

Executive Order 003 states, “All Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the FGN shall grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and service providers in their procurement of goods and services.

Executive Order 005 states, ‘‘Procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007.

According to him, this preference not only undermines the government’s support for local manufacturing but also exerts undue pressure on the economy by increasing the demand for foreign exchange.

“But, unfortunately, the reverse is the case because the MDAs and other Nigerians do not encourage local manufacturers.

“If there is no patronage, please, how will the local manufacturers grow?”

Ibrahim underscored the need for a shift in mindset towards supporting domestic products, citing that India, as country, has a slogan that drives its local content support as, “live in India, use India goods”.

The CEO said that, unfortunately, Nigerians preferred foreign products at the expense of the locally manufactured ones.

He said that the excessive love for foreign goods had continued to affect the economy, putting so much pressure on forex, which is now at a galloping rate.

“The consequences can better be imagined than described.

“We can stem the tide down, most especially with respect to the galloping dollar if the country supports production and moves consciously away from consumption to production.

“This will also help the Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BAP), respectively,” he said.

According to him, the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the various Executive Orders can not be overemphasised.

He noted the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria in providing interventions to various sectors, as outlined in the Executive Orders, adding that it remained crucial for the strategic growth and development of local industries.

The manufacturer, however, commended the Industrial Department of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment “for a very good job they have been doing for my company and the Pencil Sub Sector.

He acknowledged the efforts of the Industrial Department of the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment in supporting companies like BAMIB Resources & Investments.

He hinted that the company was also awarded the Backward Integration Programme Certificate (BIPC), which he described as a remarkable achievement for the establishment.

“This will add a lot of value to the company and will enable us to reposition ourselves strategically for the emerging markets and opportunities,” he said.

He said that though the former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, recommended for consideration to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the creation of N50 Billion Intervention Fund for the Pencil Manufacturing Industry in 2021.

He said that, unfortunately, the recommendation of the then minister had not seen the light of the day as at 2024.

“The then minister recommended the said intervention fund because the ministry is so much concerned about Industrialisation in the nation and most especially due to the fact that hitherto to 2015, there was no Pencil Manufacturer in Nigeria.

“So, the ministry is so concerned and therefore encouraging us from all fronts, but it appears that their good efforts are been frustrated by some people.

This is because it appears that some people are working at cross purposes with the ministry.

“In China, the government was always in the habit of supporting the local manufacturers, and that is why they export to other nations from China.

“It should be noted that it will be very challenging to embark on the backwards intervention without adequate support from the CBN and other relevant MDAs.

“And, at a time like this, this is the way to go,” he said.

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