The Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Segun Kadiri, has expressed the association’s full support for the Central Bank of Nigeria’s policy on smugglers.
This support was aired following the recent clampdown of smugglers by the apex bank which is preparing to freeze the accounts of importers engaged in the importation of banned items into the country.
MAN described the move as an action that will not only boost the Federal Government’s economic diversification drive, but also put an end to the decline of the manufacturing and agricultural industries; especially in the areas of textiles, palm oil, and rice milling.
Kadiri stated that one of the most important avenues for achieving economic diversification is manufacturing. As such, manufacturers welcome any Government effort aimed at boosting the sector.
“The manufacturers welcome any government’s effort that is aimed at boosting this mission and making it a reality. It’s been an objective that the government has been pursuing, but bringing it into reality by supporting the monetary policy on the side of CBN is very welcome.
It (diversification) is also something that MAN has been committed to in terms of ensuring that we have an economy that is industrialized, and that we are able to contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP), and to the foreign exchange (forex) earning of government by producing for export, and also ensuring that what we import can be produced locally.”
The President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Uche Olowu, also supported the CBN, describing smugglers/importers of banned items as economic saboteurs that must be severely dealt with in order to deter future culprits.
According to Kadiri, other regulators and government agencies (particularly from the fiscal end) must support such moves for holistic results. This is because the CBN interventions alone cannot jump-start economic diversification.
“Essentially, the CBN actions alone will not be sufficient to take them out, but it is a good step and every other regulatory agencies and institution of government should follow suit so that in a concerted manner, we will be able to defeat their (smugglers) activities.”
He added that the problem is a multifaceted one and so while CBN will do its bit in terms of using monetary measures to achieve set objectives, people and agencies should be on the lookout for smugglers who continue to subvert the system and bring in banned items.