By Etuka Sunday
Manufacturers in Nigeria have been urged by the Presidential Committee on Trade Malpractices, (PCTM) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to come together and lobby the Federal Government in a fight against importation of substandard goods in the country.
Both organizations gave the charge during a meeting with some manufacturing companies in Abuja, which marked the official handing over of four operational vehicles as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS).
The companies including SUMO Steels Limited, Aarti Steel, Olak Group, Kam Wire and Steel, presented three Toyota Hilux and one bus, to the two important government bodies: Presidential Committee for Sharp, and SON in support of their operations.
Speaking during the occasion, Mallam Dahiru-Ado Kurawa, the Chairman of PCTM, said the companies’ gesture was in support of the manufacturing sector and the Nigerian economy at large.
Kurawa, who noted that his committee is also working with other sub sectors of economy said that all hands must be on the deck for local manufacturing to gain the required momentum needed in the country.
“I am happy to assure you that we are currently working with so many other sub sectors in a bid to understand what is happening and support local manufacturing in those sub sectors and stop the infiltration of foreign goods illegally into the Nigerian economy” he said.
According to the PCTM boss, stakeholders in the steel sub sector need to synergize with critical agencies to ensure that what happened to textile industry, which had been hit by total collapse along with the value chain, does not befall the steel industry.
Also, Mallam Salim Farouk, the Director-General, Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), described the Steel Manufacturers gesture as a good example of cooperation, assuring the government is determined to protect the industries.
Farouk emphasized that the industries create employments, pay taxes, and add value to the nation’s economy hence the need to provide support.
He decried lack of adequate support from the industries stressing that some of the industries do not support where they ought to support.
According to him, the National Riffle Association in America always have their way when such debates about banning guns in that country because they are big lobbying organization, urging Nigerian manufacturing to as well up their game as they are up against big lobbyist who carry out importation of sub standard goods into the country.
“If the industries in Nigeria are together as a lobbying group, as a force in the public, to protect us as regulators, to protect the people, speak with one voice, believe me this issue of sub standard goods in the market will a thing of yesterday.
“What I am appealing to the steel industry is that this is a good example of cooperation but we need to step up our cooperation. You see Chairman and I, we may have connections all the way to the top but we don’t have the wherewithall or the influence to withstand people who are already bent on breaking the rules. We are willing to work hard but we need to be supported, politically, materially, and morally” he said.
Mr. Adeyemi Folorunsho, the representative of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) said that the gesture is part of efforts to appreciate the good works being done by the government establishment.
Folorunsho reiterated that as an association MAN is working not only itself but also to improve the wellbeing of the nation through creation of the needed employments.