By Godfrey Bivbere
LAGOS – Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, has said the recent ban on frozen poultry products, pharmaceutical products and some categories of drinks, among others, will lead to increase in the capacity utilisation of the affected sectors.
Director in charge of Economics and Statistics Department of MAN, Mr. Ambrose Oruche, who disclosed this to Vanguard in Lagos, commended government’s decision to place ban on some imported items which he said would have positive effect on the manufacturing sector if properly implemented.
He said: “Yes, it will have positive effect on the sectors affected. The manufacturing sector has the capacity to meet the demand as a result of the policy.
“When we operate below 45-44 percent capacity, it means that there is 54-55 per cent capacity that is lying idle. All that is needed is to deploy the idle capacity. So the capacity is there but the issue is Nigerians patronising made in Nigeria products.”
“If the restriction is properly implemented, definitely it is bound to have a ripple effect on the sectors in the economy.”
He expressed worry over the ability of government agencies to effectively enforce the import restriction policy which he noted will make none-sense of the intension of the policy.
“Another major thing about import restriction is the effectiveness of the implementation because when you restrict some products and you get to the super-market and you find them there, it shows that it is not working. The authorities in charge, the Customs and all the other relevant agencies must be on their feet to make sure that the policy works because if the policy does not work, it will still not have effect
“Another point is the issue of re-orientation because Nigerians believe that foreign products are better or they prefer foreign products, also that foreign culture is better than their own culture, that what is outside is better than what is inside, which is the belief of an average Nigerian.
“That is the major problem, when we begin to look down on what we have and then believe that what comes from the outside is better, that is a sign of inferiority, a sign of not believing in oneself.
“I do not expect an American preferring made in Nigerian goods to that made in America. It is all about patriotism, it is all about believing in ourselves,” he noted.