The Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has said that forex restriction on imported dairy products would uphold indigenous companies engaged in milk processing and spur local production.
Chief Solomon Vongfa, NASSI National President, made this known in Abuja in an interview with source.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had on July 23 announced the plan to put forex restriction on dairy products to promote local production of milk in Nigeria.
“We want to promote our local content; Mr President in his good reasoning feels we must promote our local product, I believe it will spur a lot of people to go into production.
“I think one of the issues about dairy product is that, because I am a member of the Organized Private Sector (OPS), some people collect the forex and bring in powder milk as if they are producing it in the country.
“We are requesting that let our own home base companies produce directly, because we have different companies that are into milk processing. Why can’t they produce our milk to help in the development of our economy,’’ he said.
Similarly, Vongfa told NAN that CBN’s plan to also restrict forex on food items importation could as well have a lot of positive impact on most Nigeria companies, especially in the value chain of the Agro business.
“Even now that many are purchasing machines from different parts of the world to go into production, it will encourage a lot of producers in meeting the reality.
“If times are tough, people will sit up and do the best in the country, that is my thought towards restricting forex in respect to food importation,’’ he said.
The NASSI president said that access to fund and poor finishing had been a challenge to the association and appealed to the government to also render support in that line.
“Even, if CBN said it has released N200 billion for the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the conditions to access the money is still a problem.
“Trillions of money needs to go into the sector, they say people don’t repay money, it is not true, people must be informed.
“It is better for government to inject money for the citizenry to use than to allow money to go to capital flight, if there is money in circulation we will not have problem
“When there is enough money there will be provision and resources for packaging to avoid poor finishing,”he said.
He appealed for government’s intervention through fund and grant to reduce cost of production for the local industrialists, saying that loan should be given on one digit interest rate:
“Loan repayment for industrialists into production and entrepreneurial should take at least five years and above to help them to break even.”
Amaka E. Nliam