An entrepreneur, Mr Muideen Ibrahim, says locally-produced pencils will save the country over $2.4 billion (N734.4 billion) if encouraged and supported by the Federal Government with enabling policies.
Ibrahim, the Chief Executive Officer, BAMIB Resources and Investment Company Ltd., made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.
Ibrahim said it was important for government to discourage importation of goods and services that could be produced in the country.
The manufacturer called on government to support indigenous pencil companies to prevent importation of the product.
According to him, if we are supported and encouraged, it will save government about $2.4 billion on importation of pencils annually.
“There are a lot of multiplier effects we shall give the country. “Some of which are backward integration of our major raw materials and basic components, massive employment opportunities and contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
“Also strategic investments in other regions and Foreign Direct Investments, amongst others, ‘’ he said.
Ibrahim said there was need for the government to increase the tariffs on imported pencils or place a technical ban on its importation to encourage indigenous pencil manufacturers.
He said this had worked in the rice sector and other allied products. He added that as a result of this, a lot of people were into rice production at the moment and the country was getting better for rice production.
Ibrahim urged the government to do something urgently for the local pencil manufacturers as they were suffering. He implored the government to enforce the Executive Order 3 and Executive Order 5 respectively to the letter for effective patronage of local products.
He said: “Unfortunately, government is still paying lip service to this very good and apt Executive Orders. There must be a committee that will drive these orders and make them work.
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