The production of pencils locally would save Nigeria over $2.4 billion if encouraged and supported by the Federal Government with enabling policies.
An enterprenuer and Chief Executive Officer of BAMIB Resources and Investment Company, Mr Muideen Ibrahim, said on Monday in Lagos that it was important for government to discourage importation of goods and services that could be produced in the country.
The manufacturer called for government support to indigenous pencil companies to produce locally, so as to prevent importation of the product.
“There are a lot of multiplier effects we shall give the country.
“Some of which are backward integration of our major raw materials and basic components and massive employment opportunities, contribution to the gross domestic products.
“Also, strategic investments in other regions and foreign direct investments amongst others,” he said.
Ibrahim said there was need for the government to increase the tarrifs on imported pencils or place a technical ban on its importation to encourage indigenous pencil manufacturers.
He said this had worked in the rice sector and other allied products.
He said as a result of this, lots of people were into rice production at the moment and the country was getting better for rice production.
Ibrahim urged the government to do something urgently for the pencil manufacturers as local manufacturers were suffering and dying.
Ibrahim also urged the government to enforce the Executive Order 3 and Executive Order 5 respectively to the letter for effective patronage of local products.
He said: “Unfortunately, government is still paying lip service to this very good and apt Executive Orders. There must be a committee that will drive this orders and make them work.
“Not only that, the government must walk the talk on ease of doing business. This is one of the ways to help local manufacturers.
“Aside from that, there must be aggressive promotions on patriotism, among others.
“I wonder what is happening to the National Orientation Agency. That Agency used to be very vibrant in those days.
“Call the manufacturers to a round table discussion and the government must as a matter of fact implement their decisions.
He said BAMIB’s production capacity currently stood in excess of 450 million pencils per annum and reported that there was room for expansion.