The Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) has praised the federal government for placing restrictions on the importation of textile goods.
Mr Emeka Okereke, Director-General of ECCIMA, said that the initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to deny foreign exchange for importation of textile goods was the way to go.
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 calls on government to reposition the textile industries in the country.
” It is a good step in the right direction but is our textile industries 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 that the private sector understood the intention of government but was the intention appreciable to the measures it was taking.
He said the country banned the importation of rice but that the product was still being imported into the country through the borders.
Okereke said that 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.