An indigenous manufacturer of aluminium products, Mr. Tunde Adesoye, has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to promote the patronage of locally produced goods so that local industries would not fold up.
Adesoye, a member of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), in an interview with newsmen in Lagos, said the rise in the exchange rate coupled with erratic power supply and bank loan rate are hindering local manufacturers from producing at lower cost, making locally produced goods appear costlier than imported finished products.
According to him, government needs to support local manufacturers to survive the present unfavourable economic situation in the country by introducing the policy of buying Made-in-Nigeria goods and discourage dependence on imported goods for the economy to grow.
“President Buhari has done well for not agreeing to devalue the naira. A lot still needs to be done to assist local manufacturers. What we, local manufacturers, are producing is not in any way sub-standard compared with the imported goods. Nigerians should be made to understand this fact,” he said.
Adesoye disagreed that finished imported goods are cheaper than the locally made ones. “Majority of the importers are cheating the government because they under-pay Custom Excise duties. Most of them also under-declare what they import and pay less duty. If such importers are made to pay the required duties for what they import, there is no way finished imported goods would be cheaper than locally made goods.