November 13, 2019

FG asked to revert to 20% tariff for raw materials for battery manufacturing companies

FG asked to revert to 20% tariff for raw materials for battery manufacturing companies


By Chimaobi Nwaiwu

An appeal has gone to the Federal Government to revert to 20%, tariff on raw materials from the recent increase to 40% tariff on raw materials to save the battery manufacturing companies still surviving in Nigeria from imminent collapse.
The appeal was made by the Acting Chief Operating  Officer, Union Autoparts Manufacturing Company Limited Nnewi, Chief Vincent Ejike, in a welcome address he presented to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abukakar during his working visit to Ibeto Group of Companies.
Ejike an engineer said that in 1990’s Nigeria had over 13 major companies manufacturing batteries, including the West African Batteries Limited in Ibadan, that manufactured Exide Batteries, Metropolitan Batteries Limited, Sango Otta, the Sunshine Batteries in Uyo Akwa Ibom State and Union Autoparts Manufacturing Company Limited, in Nnewi, all major employers of labour have almost gone down.

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According to Chief Ejike, “today due to many unfavourable government policies, all these companies except Union Autoparts Manufacturing Company have closed down while their employees, dependents are roaming the street.
Unfortunately Union Autoparts Manufacturing Company is the only A to Z battery manufacturing company left in Nigeria, and with challenges apart from lack of power supply, which is common with other manufacturing companies in Nigeria, it is contending with the dumping of batteries and lubricants from China, United Arab Emirate.
“This has also resulted to prize differential which is adversely affecting the local companies manufacturing some of the products being imported into the country.
“Other problems the local manufacturing companies like ours are facing are lack of commitment beyond pronouncement by the government and upward review from 20% to 40% on tariff on raw materials we use.”
He therefore appealed to the Federal Government to save companies such as theirs from closing down by discouraging dumping in the country and reviewing downward the recently increased 40% tariff on importation of raw materials.
Responding the Air Marshall Abubakar promised that the federal government is committed to encouraging local industries, adding that it is the reason President Muhammadu Buhari is encouraging the armed forces to partner with and patronize local Industries.

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Earlier in his speech Group Executive Director Operations and Investment, Chief Eze Echesi, who was surrounded by senior staff of the company including Acting General Manager Marketing, of the company, Mr. Johnny Ekewuba, thanked the Air Force boss for his commitment to encouraging local manufacturing companies.